· Biggest talent hunt for the future badminton star of India
· 24 winners to get scholarships to the top badminton academies
· CSR programme launched to award full scholarships to talented underprivileged children
· PNB MetLife seeks to popularize badminton through tournaments in more than 1000 Housing societies / RWAs and Corporates across the country
Mumbai, February 4: PNB MetLife India, one of India’s leading life insurance companies, today announced the launch of the “PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship” in association with Sara Foundation,approved by Badminton Association of India (BAI)and supported by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The objective of ‘PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship’ is to identify the future badminton star of India through a mass activation among school children in the age-group of 9-15 years. The zonal tournaments will be held in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore in the months of February and March 2015. The zonal winners will compete against each other in a grand finale in Delhi. Eight children across different age-groups will win scholarships for training in a reputed Badminton Academy. In addition, the company is conducting mass tournaments at housing societies and corporates to promote badminton at grassroot level.
With an intention to provide an opportunity to talented children from the underprivileged community, PNB MetLife has joined hands with Child Rights & You (CRY). The children identified by CRY and their activation partner Sara Foundation will compete to win the coveted Junior Badminton Championship trophy and a full scholarship to a top badminton academy in their home city. The 16 zonal winners will also be invited to Delhi to watch the ‘MetLife BWF Superseries’ and play friendly matches with the stars and other children. PNB MetLife is also supported by MetLife Foundation in this endeavour.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Tarun Chugh, MD & CEO, PNB MetLife Insurance said, “India has seen an unprecedented resurgence for badminton in last couple of years, courtesy the recent wins by India’s ace shuttlers. This has given the sport a shot in the arm and has elevated its appeal, cutting across all age-groups and across different strata. The diversity that badminton is able to bring in the sport resonates deeply with our brand values. Through the ‘PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship’, we seek to provide a pan India platform to children across different strata’s to chase their dreams and have an equal opportunity of being the future of Indian badminton.”
Mr. Chugh further said, “Through MetLife’s global partnership with Badminton World Federation (BWF), we have the opportunity to bring the sport back to its status as a fun, family sport. We are working with Housing societies/ RWAs and Corporates to conduct the badminton tournaments, giving people an opportunity to engage with friends and families in a competitive yet fun environment.”
Speaking on the occasion, World’s Number 1 Para Badminton champion Mr B Anand Kumar,said, “Despite being a popular sport, it is still a struggle for badminton players to get access to the right training and sponsorships to play the tournaments. I started my journey when I was 19 years of age and struggled to get recognized. I am delighted to see that corporates like PNB MetLife have come forward and support badminton and promote talent at a young age.”
Mr Ashish Kumar, Director, Sara Foundation said, “Badminton is a popular sport but it definitely needs a lot of support to become as popular as cricket or football in India. Being a family sport which sees equal participation from mostly all family members, there is a lot of hidden talent out there. With PNB MetLife’s support we hope to unearth the talent and build a strong base of the future badminton stars of India. Sara Foundation’s objective is to promote sports and we are very excited to be part of this journey with PNB MetLife.”
“At CRY we believe that sports not only promotes development and well-being of children but also provides space for children from various sections of society irrespective of their caste, class, gender, language and place of residence to come together, engage and communicate with each other. In some of the urban pockets we work in, we have often seen that what stands between children and their dreams is ‘lack of opportunity’- opportunity that can help bring lasting change in the lives of children. I am sure that this support by PNB MetLife will definitely help children from our intervention areas to learn from some of the greatest badminton players, become champions of the game and realise their dreams” said Ms Kreeanne Rabbadi, Regional Director- West, CRY- Child Rights and You.
Additional information to participate
To participate in PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship, entries may be submitted at: www.mycity4kids.com/juniorbadmintonchampionshipor www.playforhappiness.in. For more details call 9560247153, 9810889162, 9599403912.
As an initiative to drive awareness around Badminton locally, PNB MetLife will also be engaging with over 1,000 Housing Societies/ RWAs in key metros in partnership with The Times of India. Families can participate and ‘Play for Happiness’, with winners getting crowned as the ‘Housing Society Champions’ and also get a chance to meet and interact with the BWF stars at the grand finale. For more information & registration one can visit www.playforhappiness.in
About PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited
PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) is a joint venture between 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. PNB MetLife was previously known as MetLife India Insurance Company Limited and has been present in India since 2001.
For more information, visit www.pnbmetlife.com