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Tuesday, 01 July 2014 - 16:58
Coca-Cola reaffirms commitment to support grassroots talent with
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Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has been partnering with the Aravinda de Silva Cricket Foundation and Sri Lanka Cricket since 2008 to create a grassroots platform for young cricket enthusiasts. The Coca-Cola Cricket Pathway camp was held from 27th June to 29th June at the Moors Cricket Grounds, Colombo. The Cricket Pathway initiative reaffirms Coca-Cola Sri Lanka’s commitment to supporting grassroots cricket by encouraging healthy, active lifestyles amongst the youth of the country. Mr. Wimal Rubasinghe - Chairman Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation was the chief guest at the opening ceremony along with Abhishek Jugran, Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives, Coca-Cola Far East Limited, Mr. Aravinda de Silva, Administrator, Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways and Chairman, Aravinda de Silva Cricket Foundation, Mr. Kapila Welmillage, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited and national coaches, provincial and district coaches of Sri Lanka.

The Camp aims to discover cricketing talent from amongst the youth in Sri Lanka’s rural and regional areas and groom them to play in the Sri Lankan national team. Since 2008, the partners have held more than 20 camps, impacting more than 1500 students. The participants of the cricket camp are trained in both the practical and technical aspects of the game, and are subject to rigorous training sessions in the space of three days. 100 students from 35 schools across the districts of Amapara, Uva, Hambanthota, Galle, Matara and Colombo south participated in the 3 day long camp and learnt new cricketing skills and techniques from cricketing legend Aravinda de Silva, former national cricket players, national coaches and provincial and district coaches of Sri Lanka.

Abhishek Jugran, Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives, Coca-Cola Far East Limited said, “Coca-Cola is committed to encouraging and supporting healthy active lifestyles in communities across the world. We have more than 280 physical activity and nutrition education programs in more than 115 countries. We believe that exercise is vital to everyone’s health and well-being and is essential to maintaining energy balance. By supporting physical activity programs like the Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways, we aim to encourage active lifestyles, and create platforms at the grassroots level for promoting cricket in the country.”

The collaboration between Coca-Cola and Aravinda de Silva Foundation has provided participants with a productive and competitive cricketing experience that enables them to develop their skills and expertise whilst realizing their own potential. The youngsters also have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the basics of cricket from some great players of Sri Lankan Cricket. As a result of the rigorous training received by veterans of the game, such as Aravinda de Silva and other prominent coaches, there have been many young, talented players who have emerged to play for the Sri Lankan National Under 19 Team. The past 5 years have seen over 42 cricketers from the Pathways programme joining the National Under 19 cricket team.

Mr. Kapila Welmillage, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd, “The Coca-Cola Cricket Pathway camps is a platform for youngsters across Sri Lanka to not just practise cricketing skills, but is a way for them to seek guidance from some of Sri Lanka’s best cricketers as well as national level coaches. Participants are not only from Colombo, but across the island, so we are helping to source cricketers from various parts of the country and contribute in a small way to grooming talent for Sri Lankan Cricket. We have had a great partnership with the Aravinda de Silva Cricket Foundation and we hope to continue to work with them for the Cricket Camps in the coming years.

Format of Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways Camps

Day 1: Participants complete a fitness test and are inculcated on some cricketing techniques.

Day 2: All day training for participants. Each participant’s unique skills are identified and monitored to ensure the appropriate guidance and training will be provided to take their cricketing skills to the next level

Day 3: The final day of the camp includes a specialized training session from which the 10 best players will be selected and rewarded.
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