Nov 26, 3 years ago

Kevin Pietersen launched the Sprite 24/7 Project

Kevin Pietersen launched the Sprite 24/7 Project

Cricket star Kevin Pietersen today launched the KP24 Foundation’s inaugural Sprite 24/7 Project, which will see sevens teams of underprivileged teenagers from all over the globe take part in a ten-day cricketing camp and tournament in Dubai starting on Wednesday.

The players – aged between 16-18 and made up from some of the most impoverished areas in the world – will enjoy training sessions with a selection of professional players and coaches, including Pietersen, before representing their countries in a global T20 tournament in front of 10,000 spectators at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Teams from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and an Australian Aboriginal Team selected by Cricket Victoria take part alongside a locally-selected UAE side for the event, which runs from 25 November – 4 December.

Alongside cricket activities, the players will enjoy enterprise sessions designed to teach career skills, take part in educational and team challenges, and participate in exclusive excursions to local TV studios and attend England’s T20 match with Pakistan at the Dubai Stadium.

All boys will also participate in a cricket coaching course so they are able to deliver 10 week coaching programmes to younger kids back home – “The KP24 Leaders Course” – and a standout player from each team will receive a full scholarship to support their cricketing development moving forward.

Pietersen, England’s all-time top scorer, said: “I’m so excited to announce and launch this hugely ambitious project for a cause very dear to my heart.

“Throughout my career I’ve been so fortunate to travel all around the world and meet so many amazing people, so it was always my ultimate ambition to put something on which gave something back to these places.

“Wherever I’ve travelled, whether it be with England or playing franchise cricket, kids have always come to our training and joined in whenever they could. It’s forever been a regret of mine that our limited time in these areas meant I couldn’t repay them with the amount of time and attention they deserve.

“The event will see boys leave their countries, most of whom for the first time, and hopefully pick up the skills and confidence needed to improve their everyday life.

“Most importantly, everyone at the KP24 Foundation is determined for this not to be a short-term venture, so all the boys will learn a 10 week cricket coaching course which they can pass on to younger kids back home, who will hopefully turn into the next generation of cricketers.

“By also giving scholarships to stand-out members of each team, we’ll also support them as they continue their cricketing journey and hopefully make it to the international stage in their respective country’s colours.

“I’m incredibly proud and humbled to be able to put on this Sprite 24/7 Project and I can’t wait to meet all the boys out in Dubai.”

KP24 Foundation Ambassador, Gary Lineker, said: “This is a fantastic project which will hopefully change the lives of all those taking part and many more indirectly in the future.

“I wish all the young men taking part the very best and hopefully one day I’ll see some of these boys fulfilling their dreams and representing their countries on the senior stage.”

KP24 Foundation Ambassador Piers Morgan said: “This is a brilliant initiative which gives talented but underprivileged young cricketers a chance to fulfil their promise and their dreams.

“Cricket’s been very good to Kevin, as he is the first to admit, and this is a great way for him to repay the favour.”

Taking place on the same day – 4th December 2015 – is the final of the UAE’s official grassroots cricket tournament, Sprite Cricket Stars, also with the participation of Pietersen, along with Pakistani cricketing legend, Shoaib Akhtar. Sprite Cricket Stars was launched by Coca-Cola Middle East in 2011 as part of its ongoing drive to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and support blue-collar workers and the wider Asian community in the United Arab Emirates.

Commenting on Pietersen’s participation in the Sprite Cricket Stars tournament, Omar Bennis, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Middle East, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the KP24 Project with cricket legend Kevin Peterson, as well as having his support for our own Sprite Cricket Stars final, which is now in its fourth year and takes place later on the same day, 4th December. Sprite, and indeed more broadly Coca-Cola Middle East, is committed to making a positive contribution to society, as well as spreading the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle, and these are ideal platforms to demonstrate our support.”

© | Triomedia PPL | Source | kp24foundation


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