- Over 1800 entries received for Southern India (including Chennai, Hyderabad & Kozhikode) tournament
- Cumulative entries exceed 4900 across 6 locations including Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kozhikode
- Matches to be held under 5 categories: U-9, U-11, U-13, U-15 and U-17 for both boys and girls
- Strengthens CSR program: hosts training camps to identify potential talent among underprivileged children and coach them for participation
- Registration details on www.playforhappiness.in
Kozhikode, February 10, 2016: PNB MetLife India, one of India’s leading life insurance companies and SARA FOUNDATION (An organisation for the promotion of sports), bring the coveted National PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) - Season 2 to Kozhikode. Starting February 10, 2016, the tournament will be played at VK Krishna Menon Indoor Stadium, Kozhikode with the finals scheduled for February 12, 2016. More than 500 participants have registered for the tournament displaying huge excitement and response among the young badminton playing community. The tournament has been approved by BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF INDIA (BAI) and is being supported by Kerala Badminton (Shuttle) Association.
With more than 4900 entries received for the tournaments in six cities including Kozhikode, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Chennai, PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) - Season 2 has already surpassed the record of its first season, showcases its popularity among young shuttlers.
This initiative is being conducted by PNB MetLife & SARA Foundation to promote grass-root level sports across the country.
The inaugural event in Kozhikode was attended by stalwarts including Shri Babu Parassery, District Punchayat President, Kozhikode who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Shri M. M. Thomas, Circle Head, Kozhikode Circle, Punjab National Bank was the Guest of Honour at the inaugural ceremony.
The Kozhikode tournament will witness nail-biting matches where young and talented shuttlers will fight it out for the top positions. The winners of the Kozhikode tournament will enter the National Finals of the championship. The excitement levels will soar as ranking players from across India are expected to participate in the tournament. The matches will be played in 5 categories - U-9, U-11, U-13, U-15 and U-17 for both boys and girls. Every city will select top 8 kids (Under 9 and 11) and top four kids (under 13,15 and 17) and they will qualify for grand finale to take pace in New Delhi from 28 to 30 March 2016.
Shri M. M. Thomas, Circle Head, Kozhikode Circle, Punjab National Bank, Guest of Honour at the event said, “It is really exciting to be here with so many energized children seeking to win the zonal championships. To make badminton as popular as cricket or football in India requires much support. Being a family sport badminton sees equal participation from mostly all family members. It is great to see our partners PNB MetLife create a platform to promote talent in badminton.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Associate Director- Marketing, PNB MetLife, said, “Kozhikode has a lot of talent in terms of young and enthusiastic kids who are extremely passionate about badminton and we are delighted to bring PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship Season-2 here. So far over 4400 entries were received from five cities including Hyderabad. It is great to see momentum continuing in Southern India with over 500 entries received for Kozhikode tournament. As the tournament grows much in scale in its second season, we will continue to provide all possible support from the company to promote the budding players. The top players from the Kozhikode tournament will compete in the National Finals in March 2016. We appreciate SARA Foundation for taking the lead to promote innovative practices in Indian sports and at the grass-root level.”
Commenting on the initiative, Chief Guest Shri Babu Parassery, District Punchayat President, Kozhikode, said, “I would like to congratulate PNB MetLife and Sara Foundation for successfully taking Badminton to grass root level in India. With immense talent, now Badminton is getting required support. My best wishes to all the young shuttlers to play well in the tournament.”
Mr. Ashish Kumar, Director, Sara Foundation, said, “The tournament in North and West Zone was completed successfully with exhilarating response from the participants. Even, Hyderabad tournament that concluded earlier this month also received great response and we are sure that our Kozhikode tournament will be even more exciting. With support from PNB MetLife, we will spot top talent in Badminton sport and provide them with a platform to showcase their skills. Sara Foundation remains committed to promote sports and Kozhikode tournament will further strengthen our mission.”
After Kozhikode, the league is set to get under way in Guwahati and Lucknow. The feat would shift back to Delhi for the semi-finals and finals starting March 28, 2016. Ten children and sixteen underprivileged children across different age-groups will win scholarships for training in a reputed Badminton Academy.
About PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited
PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) is one of the fastest growing life insurance companies in the country having as its shareholders, MetLife International Holdings Inc. (MIHI), Punjab National Bank Limited (PNB), Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB), M. Pallonji and Company Private Limited and other private investors, with MIHI and PNB being the majority shareholders.
About Sara Foundation
Sara foundation is deeply engaged in scouting and promoting sports talent throughout the country. In recent times, the organization has been identifying many sports prodigies (Boys/Girls) and has been providing sustainable support to many young sports talent in the country.
Sara Foundation has designed a series of regional and national level sports activities in India for school children to help them participate and develop a SPORTS CULTURE. After winning many successes & accolades in recent times, currently the organization is organizing the much awaited national tournament- ‘PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) 2016’.