New Delhi: Monday, 1st December, 2008: Gatorade, the World's No. 1 sports drink, today announced the launch of 2009 edition of its Pace Bowling Talent Hunt - 'Gatorade Pacers', in the presence of India's Pace Bowling legend Mr Javagal Srinath who has been associated with the property since its inception in 2007. After the stupendous success of its first two editions in 2007 and 2008, Gatorade plans to screen 5000+ aspiring Pacers in u-15, u-19 & u-22 professionals categories from more than 2000 schools, colleges, sports clubs and State cricket associations in India across the seven cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Pune in 2009.
The national winners of the hunt will receive once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be groomed by India's leading Fast Bowling Coach Mr. TA Sekar through structured training programs and regular monitoring of progress for a period of three years.
Pacers 2007 went to 600 schools in 4 cities. 1300+ aspiring pacers were assessed by expert selectors under the guidelines prepared by Mr. T A Sekar. One of the Gatorade Pacers of 2007 went on to be a part of the Rajasthan Ranji Team last year, two are in the probables for Rajasthan Royals this year and the third one is with the Tamil Nadu U-17 team ever since.
Gatorade Pacers 2008 evaluated 3800+ aspirants form 1200 schools, colleges, State Cricket Association, Academies and finally selected 10 for training at the MRF Pace Foundation. Three of these are at National Cricket Academy ever since and are playing for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy and one is playing for the MRF Pace Foundation Team. Three of these are also IPL probables (Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals).
Through this initiative Gatorade aims at bringing the best of training opportunity as well as latest in sports science to grass-roots level pace bowling talent in India. Gatorade's association with the game of cricket 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Sucheta Govil - Executive Director, Innovation, & Business Development, PepsiCo India said, "Gatorade, World's No. 1 Sports Drink, is delighted to have made a difference to careers of 13 young fast bowlers over last two years; the same way it has helped thousands of athletes all over the world perform at their best, in last 40-plus years. We aim to provide opportunity as well as demonstrate the criticality of optimal hydration to all stakeholders in India's favorite Sport and I am delighted with the progress made"
Present at the occasion, Mr. T A Sekar, Inida's Leading Fast Bowling Coach & Chief Selector of Gatorade Pacers said, "I have given 20 years to the mission of developing strike bowlers that will make India proud! I was delighted so see the same passion in Gatorade team. Gatorade is talent spotter and I am privileged to help them in both spotting and shaping the talent. What makes this initiative special, I think, is the stringent selection criteria that we have put in place which is very objective and result-oriented. We do not just look at speed but also accuracy, variation and attitude. No wonder then that the initiative has seen the success it has seen. I have learnt the basics form various experts in Australia, England etc. but have adapted them in such a way that they would be suitable for Indian body structure and would be result-oriented in our circumstances"
Mr. Javagal Srinath, India's Fast Bowling legend, said "The success that the winners of 2007 & 2008 rounds of Pacers have been able to achieve; not only talks about their own caliber but also of this property which gave them a wonderful opportunity to prove their mettle. This initiative is special to me for another reason – it also inculcates the culture of Sports Science in the players at the young age; which I believe is critical if we were to make the progress from a good cricketing nation to a great cricketing nation. Optimal Hydration is a strong performance differentiator once you have similar skill and fitness levels. We learnt this the hard way, I am happy initiatives like this are exposing young students, coaches and administrators to the importance of optimal hydration"
The selection process involves measuring bowling speed with a speed gun coupled with expert's assessment of action, fitness and potential of the bowler.
Two best bowlers will be selected in three categories – Under -15, u-19 and under- 22 Professionals; from each city for the semi-final round. In all, 28 potential pace bowlers will be selected to go through a structured training-cum-selection session to be conducted by India's leading Fast Bowling Coach Mr. T.A. Sekar, renowned Sports Fitness Expert Mr Ramji Srinivasan and Gatorade Master Trainer Ms Nisha Verma at the national finals in New Delhi on February 3rd and 4th.
Registration for participation in Gatorade Pacers can be done at www.gatorade.co.in
Entries will also be accepted directly at the venue but aspirants are advised to pre-register to avoid disappointment.
Director - Corporate Communications & CSR
PepsiCo India Holdings
Tel: 0124 - 2880606
General Manager- Corporate Communications
PepsiCo India Holdings
Mob: +91 9818449509
Ms. Amrita Walia