New Delhi 25 May, 2007: Gatorade, the World's No. 1 sports drink, today, announced the two winners of the 'Gatorade Pacers' 2007 initiative. The winners - Abhishek Singh and P K Dharma were awarded and felicitated by India's legendary fast bowler - Javagal Srinath. The lucky two will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train under internationally acclaimed Australian pace bowler Dennis Lillee for two weeks at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. The leading cricketer also selected Ravi Kant Sharma to be a part of the training session on the basis of his talent.
'Gatorade Pacers is an ongoing fast-bowling talent hunt that aims at identifying potential pace bowlers in the age group of 12-18 years for training at the prestigious MRF Pace Foundation. Held in partnership with the MRF Pace Foundation, the initiative reflects Gatorade's efforts to help Indian Cricket find its next pace-bowling sensation. Gatorade's association with the game also reinforces its strong credentials as the expert on hydration which is essential for fast bowlers, who lose considerable amounts of salts and water while on field. This year, the programme reached out to 600 schools in - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and has plans to grow bigger year on year.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Geetu Verma - Executive Director, Innovation and Business Development, PepsiCo India said, "Gatorade, as a brand born on the field of sport, is committed to sports all over the world and has helped athletes get access to the best in hydration training and scientific sweat-testing facilities. The 'Gatorade Pacers' initiative in India takes Gatorade's association with cricket to a higher level. The programme endeavors to facilitate talented youngsters in receiving best-in-class training in bowling and set new benchmarks in the field of cricket". .
"The programme has received a tremendous response and participation and we are very proud to have the winner bowlers with us today", she further added.
The 'Gatorade Pacers' initiative saw thousands of participants being judged by selectors during the 'Zonals' organized across cities in the month of February 2007. The selectors, associated with the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore and MRF Pace Foundation, Chennai selected 20 fastest bowlers from each city. The selection process involved the use of a speed gun, used to measure the speed of the ball and other factors such as physical fitness, action and the selector's judgment of the bowler. Out of the 20 bowlers, 2 bowlers were selected from each city for the semi finals. A total of 8 potential fast bowlers went through a rigid coaching session by MRF Chief Coach - Mr. T.A.Sekar and Reebok Master Trainer - Nisha Verma which was followed by the final selection in Delhi.
One of the winners exclaimed, "I am so excited to win this competition; it is unbelievable! The thought of meeting and getting inputs from a legend like Srinath and the possibility of being trained under Dennis Lillee is more than special and I would like to thank Gatorade for it! This competition is a stepping stone for people like me who have dreamt of meeting and playing with the world's best cricketers!
Mr. T.A.Sekar, Chief Coach of MRF Pace Foundation said, "We support Gatorade's initiative to train and support the young, cricketing talent of India. The initiative mirrors MRF Pace Foundation's singular mission of developing strike bowlers that will make India proud! It is our privilege to have the winners whom we aim to nurture into professional bowlers under the aegis of Dennis Lillee".
Present at the occasion, India's pace bowling legend - Javagal Srinath said, "As a bowler myself, it is very pleasing to see young talent come to the fore and I appreciate the efforts taken by Gatorade and MRF Pace Foundation to recognize this talent. I would like to congratulate the winners and wish them the very best!"
Gatorade has consistently been the best hydration solution for sportspersons like cricketers nationally and internationally. A drink that has been scientifically formulated, Gatorade has access to 40 years of research in the field of sports medicine and hydration. With this expertise and knowledge, it has helped talented sportspersons better their performance when they are on the field of play. Integrating this with the training program is the MRF Pace Foundation that offers the best off-the-field facilities and scientifically develops the cricketing skills of youngsters.
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