Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has tied up with Coaching Beyond, a sports skilling company founded by former cricketers Ravi Shastri, B Arun and R Sridhar to catch young women talents and groom them for national and international events.
Kicking off the programme here on Wednesday, Srinandan Sundaram, Executive Director (Foods & Refreshment) of HUL, told businessline that the three-year training programme will cover the cost of training for the two batches in Chennai and Hyderabad.
The duo will conduct Junior Athlete Development Programme (JADP) in the two cities. Each centre will induct 25 cricketers, who will get scholarship from HUL.
“We will give 50 scholarships a year. The programme will focus on all aspects of the game, including technical, tactical, physical and mental skills,” Srinandan said.
He said the selection and onboarding process will spread over four phases.
Asked whether the scholarship programme would be extended to other cities, he said the company would like to expand the programme as Coaching Beyond expanded.
“We will conduct trials in districts across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They will take part in a tournament in Chennai and Hyderabad respectively,” he said.
After the tournament, as many as 50 young women cricketers will be shortlisted for the HUL scholarship programme. The fourth phase would involve training forthree years.
The Founders of Coaching Beyond were present at the kick-off programme held here.
“For a while now, young girls in India have not had a uniform playing field to pursue their passion in sports, often due to lack of access to coaching academies, infrastructure and mentors,” he said.
“We aim to bridge this gap, and we want to encourage athletes to play the sport that they love without barriers,” he said.
“Women’s cricket in India is undergoing a tremendous shift and it is exciting to witness the developments. The way forward is truly to encourage and recruit young talent to take the sport to newer heights,” Ravi Shastri said.