FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd on Wednesday announced its partnership with cricket academy, ‘Coaching Beyond’ to promote young women cricketers across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and offer scholarships benefitting them.
In keeping with the company’s corporate social responsibility mission, this partnership with Coaching Beyond recognises and continues HUL’s endeavours to advocate health, gender equality and skill development by extending support to young talent in cricket, a release said here.
In association with Coaching Beyond, the Junior Athlete Development Program (JADP) will comprise women cricketers, who would be selected to train in Hyderabad and Chennai respectively for a total of 50 scholarships per year.
The programme will begin with trials across 20 districts across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The selected young women cricketers will be hosted to play a tournament in Chennai and Hyderabad respectively. After the tournament, 50 young women cricketers will be shortlisted for the HUL scholarship programme and in the last phase, training will begin as part of the HUL scholarship, spanning 3 years, the release said.
Young athletes selected for the programme will be trained under the guidance of former India chief coach Ravi Shastri, Co-founder of Coaching Beyond, and former players B Arun and R Sridhar, it said.
Srinandan Sundaram, Executive Director, Foods & Refreshment, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “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, mentors etc. We aim to bridge this gap, and we want to encourage athletes to play the sport that they love without barriers.”
Ravi Shastri said: “On behalf of all of us at Coaching Beyond, we are excited to embark on this partnership with Hindustan Unilever. 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”.