Bangalore, May 5, 2017: PNB MetLife India, one of India’s leading life insurance companies, and Sara Foundation (an organisation for the promotion of sports) kick-started the third season of the biggest National open-platform for badminton at grassroots level for school children including underprivileged sports prodigies - PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) 2017 – today at Accolades Badminton & Sports Academy, Bangalore. After scripting its unprecedented success in the first and second season with more than 8000 young shuttlers engaging in mesmerizing on-court battles, the third season of the tournament promises more excitement and high-octane badminton action with more than 700 players including underprivileged kids registering for the Bangalore leg of the tournament.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by dignitaries with Sh. H N Girisha, Silver Medalist (Paralympics London 2012), Arjuna Awardee, Padma Shri Awardee, gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest. 

Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore and Mumbai legs received overwhelming response with more than 3600+ entries and the momentum will continue in Bangalore as young and promising badminton players come together in a battle of skill and stamina. 

JBC 3 will cover the length and breadth of the country with tournaments in 8 cities – New Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Lucknow. The matches will be played in 5 age categories –Under-9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 for boys and girls. Top 4 kids from each category from every city tournament will proceed to the National Finale in New Delhi and get a chance to claim the National title. 

This noble initiative is being sponsored by PNB MetLife and organised by Sara Foundation to promote grass-root level sports across the country. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Associate Director - Marketing, PNB MetLife, said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship Season 3 in Bangalore in association with Sara Foundation and CRY. We have been able to reach out to more than 8000 youngsters in the past two seasons of JBC and we look forward to make the third season even bigger and better. We’ve also strengthened our CSR initiative through training and coaching camps, reinforcing our commitment to identify and nurture young talent, thereby popularizing Badminton by taking this truly to the grassroots level. We appreciate Sara Foundation for taking the lead to promote innovative practices in Indian sports at the grassroots level.” 

In addition to the action-packed head-to-head competition, PNB MetLife further extended its association with Child Rights and You (CRY) by conducting badminton camps across various project areas in the country for identifying and training talented underprivileged children. The camps were held in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Raichur and Gulbarga where the kids received training thrice-a-week for 10 months along with equipment including badminton racquets, shoes and sportswear. Kids shortlisted on the basis of their performance in the camps will participate in different legs of JBC 3 and will get a chance to be among sixteen winners of the coveted national badminton scholarship in underprivileged category. 

AshishKumar Srivastava, Chairman, JBC Organising Committee, said, “We received phenomenal responsefor the Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore and Mumbai legs of this season and we areexcitingly looking forward to the Bangalore leg of the tournament. With supportfrom PNB MetLife, we are moving strongly in the direction to identify hiddentalent in our country and we will surely produce future badminton stars ofIndia. Sara Foundation remains committed to promote sports and we are veryexcited to continue our journey with PNB MetLife.” 

AfterBangalore, JBC 3 is set to get under way in Hyderabad, Guwahati and Lucknow.The feat would shift back to Delhi-NCR for the National Finale in June/July2017. 

Tostrengthen its commitment for badminton on the digital front, PNB MetLife hasrecently introduced 3D Pro Badminton Challenge – a mobile game application forandroid and iOS platforms with 3D gameplay environment, dynamic graphics andeasy finger swipe based controls. It provides a 24x7 accessible platform atfingertips to learn, practice and master badminton skills in an engaging andexciting way.

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