· Largest badminton championship platform to identify fresh talent

· Over the last three seasons the tournament hosted over 8000 children who participated in 8 cities

· 10 cities to host regional matches this year: New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Lucknow, Guwahati, Kolkata and Kochi

· Matches to be held under four age categories: Under-9, 11, 13 and 15 for both boys and girls

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The platform supports the training of underprivileged kids in the sport and 140 children have benefitted from scholarships for training in badminton

· The tournament is approved by the Badminton Association of India (BAI)

Pune, July 03, 2018: PNB MetLife, one of India’s leading life insurance company, kick-started the Pune leg of the fourth season of Junior Badminton Championship in the city today. The tournament one of the biggest National open-platform for Badminton is being held at Poona District Metropolitan Badminton Association. The first day of the four-day tournament in the city saw over 1000 young future prodigies engaging in epic clashes. The fourth season of the tournament promises more exciting and high-octane badminton action.

The tournament was inaugurated by S.A. Shetty, Honorary Secretary of Maharashtra Badminton Association and former International player and referee, who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony in Pune.

This year, JBC is scheduled to cover the length and breadth of the country with tournaments in 10 cities – Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Kochi, Lucknow, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and New Delhi. The matches will be played in four age categories – Under-9, 11, 13 and 15 for boys and girls. Top two kids from each category from every city tournament will proceed to the National Finale in New Delhi scheduled on Aug 9-10 to fight for the National title.

The platform is being sponsored by PNB MetLife, with CRY Foundation as the CSR partner. The aim of this initiative is to revive the spirit of the sport by nurturing the right talent at an amateur level, thereby fostering their growth and ability to perform on a global scale.

Mr. Nipun Kaushal, Chief Marketing Officer, PNB MetLife said, “Over the years JBC 4 has become a much awaited event and it is heartening to see the response to the tournament in different cities. We have used an integrated communication approach to promote this Olympic sport so that more children can benefit from playing it. We expect to have a total of 8000 children participate in this year’s edition. We are committed to provide more children access to this platform. The passion and commitment that we saw today is testament that tomorrow, as national players, these children will cross new boundaries in the sport of Badminton.”

The Chief Guest for the event, Mr. S.A. Shetty, said,“India possesses immense talent and platforms such as PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship are significant to unearth this gift from young shuttlers of the country. The initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for these kids to showcase their athletic skills and sportsmanship. Our country needs more such initiatives, which will support the progress and development of sports and provide equal opportunity to all.”

The national-level tournament, approved byBadminton Association of India (BAI), has in the past four years grown from strength-to-strength to become one of the biggest annual national level platforms for young badminton enthusiasts.Speaking on the occasion, BAI President – Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, said, “We are delighted to associate with PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) 4. Through this initiative young children can now hone their skills and chase their badminton dreams. India has the potential to produce many budding sports stars. Platforms like these take the sport to different parts of the country and make it accessible to all.”

After Pune, JBC 4 will be travelling to Mumbai and Kolkata.