Mohan, Webster get Atlantic/ Kieron Pollard Scholarship

Trinidad Express article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - West Indies player and Atlantic Sports Ambassador Kieron Pollard has announced that young cricketers Vikash Mohan and Tion Webster are the 2014 recipients of the Atlantic/Kieron Pollard Scholarship.

Mohan, a former Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 skipper, and Webster, the 2013 Peter Waithe Youth Cricketer of the Year at Queen’s Park Cricket Club, will both be given the opportunity of a lifetime to play cricket in the UK for a two month period. 

Established by Pollard in partnership with LNG producer Atlantic, the Atlantic/Kieron Pollard Scholarship will cover the young cricketers’ airfare and accommodation and will provide a daily stipend. Pollard explained that he developed the annual scholarship as a form of “giving back” to the sport of cricket, facilitating international training and exposure for local young cricketers to enhance and hone their natural cricketing talents. 

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to develop my cricket skills abroad,” Pollard said. “I have become a better player due to the fact that now I am getting the chance to play all over the world, with different players, and under varying conditions. I want to give young cricketers this international exposure that will not only impact their cricket careers but also their overall life skills, helping them become more independent young adults.” 

Derek Daniel, Branding and Communications Manager, Atlantic explained that Atlantic’s partnership with Pollard was building on the LNG producer’s support to local cricket by investing in the development of the sport’s future champions. 

“Atlantic is very pleased to work alongside our Sports Ambassador Kieron Pollard on this initiative which is very aligned to our investment in the future of three local sports – cricket, football and track and field,” Daniel said. “Sport has the power to develop the youth of Trinidad and Tobago, and to give them holistic development. The Atlantic/Kieron Pollard Scholarship has the potential to elevate the level of local cricket, and it will help make the dreams of these two young cricketers into a reality.“ Vikash Mohan, who began playing cricket at age 7, said that he appreciated the opportunity to play cricket with international professionals. 

“This scholarship is indeed a good initiative as it gives young cricketers a chance to play cricket at an international level,” Mohan said. “Thanks to Pollard and the guys and Atlantic for making this possible for me.” 

In 2005, Mohan played for Tunapuna Presbyterian in the Atlantic National Primary Schools Cricket League. Fellow scholarship recipient Tion Webster was not a “graduate” of the annual primary school cricket competition sponsored by Atlantic, but has been a member of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club youth programme since he was 14. Webster said he looked forward to this exciting new phase of his cricketing journey. “It feels really good to be chosen to go to England to play cricket,” Webster said. “I believe the experience would improve my cricketing abilities and would provide me with a welcome challenge.“ 

David Furlong, Queen’s Park Cricket Club coach and a member of the scholarship’s selection panel, explained that cricketing skills and a desire to pursue cricket as a profession were key criteria in the selection process. 

“We sent letters out to clubs inviting two players from each club to attend the screening session,” Furlong said. “A wide cross section of boys attended from clubs across Trinidad. These guys were asked to bat and bowl for about fifteen minutes and we then sent their cricket statistics to England and the final choice was then made.“ 

The Kieron Pollard Scholarship was launched in 2012. Inaugural recipient Akeal Hosein was joined in 2013 by Savion Lara, cousin of West Indies cricketers Dwayne and Darren Bravo. In 2013, LNG producer Atlantic partnered with Pollard to expand the scholarship to allow two young cricketers the opportunity to play cricket in the UK. 

First Published In The Trinidad Express.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 01:53