~ 16 talented underprivileged children given scholarships for a year ~
New Delhi, July 28, 2017: PNB MetLife, one of India’s leading life insurance companies and Sara Foundation (An organisation for the promotion of sports) concluded its three-day National finale event of Junior Badminton Championship’s (JBC) Season 3 at the Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi. The winners of five age groups viz - Under 9, 11, 13, 15 & 17 categories were felicitated by Chief Guest, Shri Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance, Govt. of India and Guest of Honour, Ashwini Ponnappa (Gold Medalist of Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010 and a Bronze Medalist of BWF World Championships, London 2011).
The third season of the tournament saw 7,000 enthusiastic young players participating across India through these eight cities - New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Indore, Lucknow and Jamshedpur. 350 zonal champions from pan India gathered in the capital to battle in the Finale round.
The Guest of Honour, Ashwini Ponnappa had encouraging words for the winners and participants , “I am glad that Badminton, one of the most popular sports in India, has gradually seen an image shift from a recreational sport to a professional. I’m delighted to see these young confident kids play the sport with such finesse. I urge more parents to motivate their children in taking up badminton and appreciate organisations like PNB MetLife and Sara Foundation who have built national platforms for children at grassroots’ level across India.”
Mr. Sameer Bansal - Director Bancassurance and Interim CMO, PNB MetLife , said, “Three years ago, PNB MetLife strengthened their proposition ‘ physical fitness is equal to fiscal fitness ’ under the umbrella brand of 'PlayForHappiness ' with the launch of initiatives like PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship and PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon . I am delighted to share that as a brand, which values health, wellness and encourages family time and teamwork, we have been taking up the cause of badminton in a big way.”
He further added , “I’m proud to say that the JBC tournament has grown from strength-to-strength becoming one of the biggest annual national open-platform for young badminton enthusiasts to have hosted over 15,000 children cumulatively from all three seasons. The tournament has been applauded and graced by several Olympic, World, International, National players and Champions apart from eminent personalities from all walks of life. I would like to take this opportunity and thank our partners Sara Foundation and CRY for their support, hard work and dedication to make JBC a successful tournament.”
Mr. Ashish Srivastava, Chairman, JBC Organising Committee , said, “We are happy to see the consistent exhilarating response from participants in this third edition of the tournament. This is a testament to the tournament’s success and popularity of badminton as a sport in India. I want to congratulate all the winners who deserved this victory and all the participants who showed zeal and enthusiasm in their performance. We will continue identifying hidden talent in our country and provide these players a platform to showcase their skills. With support from PNB MetLife, we are moving strongly in the direction to and we will surely produce future badminton stars of India. Sara Foundation remains committed to promote sports and will further strengthen our mission.”
PNB MetLife has partnered with Child Rights & You (CRY) for the CSR leg of the tournament. Strengthening our CSR program, 16 National badminton scholarships will also be awarded to raise talent from economically weaker sections of the society in addition to the 32 granted during the past two seasons. The scholarships provide the children with training under the guidance of professional coaches, equipment and cover other sports related expenses.
Soha Moitra, Regional Director, North for CRY – Child Rights and You said, “We are glad to be associating with PNB MetLife’s Junior Badminton Championship as the charity partner. Having worked to advocate children’s rights for close to four decades, we have witnessed deprivation that children face in India. At the same time, we have also seen the change that ensues, when these children are given adequate opportunities and made to realize their full potential. Across many of our project areas, sports have been an effective medium of empowerment for children and transformational change has been witnessed, impacting not just their confidence but also educational indicators. The rigorous badminton training sessions with professional coaches for our children in project areas across cities will give them the exposure that they truly deserve and hopefully inspire them to stand up for their rights and work towards a bright future.”
“Also, PNB MetLife’s support will further facilitate our efforts to ensure that children in India get adequate care, nutrition, quality education and are protected so that they can lead a happy childhood. Investing in children should be a priority since a country’s growth and development is best reflected by the state of its children”, she added.
About PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited
PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) has as its shareholders MetLife International Holdings LLC. (MIHL), Punjab National Bank Limited (PNB), Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB), M. Pallonji and Company Private Limited and other private investors, with MIHL and PNB being the majority shareholders.
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• The marks “PNB” and “MetLife” are the registered trademarks of Punjab National Bank and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, respectively. PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited is a licensed user of these marks”
About Sara Foundation
Sara Foundation is deeply engaged in scouting and promoting sports talent throughout the country. In recent times we have been identifying many sports prodigies (Boys/Girls) and have been providing sustainable support to many young sports talent in the country.
We have 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, now we are geared up to organise ‘3rd PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) - 2017’.