Curtains Fall On The Season 3 Of PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship

In this blog post, I cover the Grand Finale of the 3rd PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3), which took place on July 28, 2017, at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in Delhi.

As curtains fell on the Season 3 of PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3), 10 young shuttlers were crowned as champions and 16 underprivileged children were granted scholarships for a year*.

[* PNB MetLife has partnered with Child Rights & You (CRY) for the CSR leg of the tournament. 16 national badminton scholarships were 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.]

All winners in five age groups (i.e. U-9, U-11, U-13, U-15, and U-17) were felicitated by the Chief Guest, Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance, Government of India and the Guest of Honor, Ashwini Ponnappa, Gold Medalist at Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 and Bronze Medalist at BWF World Championships, London 2011.

In her speech for winners and participants, Ashwini Ponnappa encouraged young revelers by saying, "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 organizations like PNB MetLife and Sara Foundation who have built national platforms for children at grassroots' level across India."

In conversation with Ashwini Ponnappa, an Indian badminton player who represents the country at the international badminton circuit in both the women's and mixed doubles disciplines. Ashwani was the Guest of Honor at the Grand Finale of the 3rd Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3) at the Thyagaraj Stadium. She has a successful partnership with Jwala Gutta as the pair have won many medals in international events including a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a historic bronze at the World Championships. The pair have also been consistently ranked among the top 20 in the BWF World Ranking reaching as high as no. 10. Ponnappa alongside Gutta won the bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in 2011 becoming the first Indian pair and women and only the second overall to win a medal at the worlds. For more updates, follow @rahulprabhakar 👈 #PlayForHappiness #winning #badminton #workout #instasport #training #instasports #excercise #gametime #active #jbc #jbc3 #fan #fit #fun #win #fitness #shuttle #fans #game #pass #racquet #sports #pnbmetlife #crowd #games #sport #throw #delhi
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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."

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 promoting sports and will further strengthen our mission."

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.

The names of top 10 Winners and Runner-Ups of the PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC) Season 3 are:

Under 17

Girls Singles  

Winner - Likhita Srivastava from Delhi
Runner-up - K Maheshwari Devi from Telangana

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Boys Singles

Winner - Tarun Gakhad from Haryana
Runner-up - Abhinn Vasisht from Haryana

Under 15

Girls Singles 

Winner - K Maheshwari Devi from Telangana
Runner-up - Aradhyaa Kushwaha from Uttar Pradesh

Boys Singles 

Winner - Shubham Patel from Rajasthan
Runner-up - Manav Choudhary from Haryana

Under 13 

Girls Singles

Winner - Anya Chauhan from Uttar Pradesh
Runner-up - Hothrisri Thatigutla from Andhra Pradesh

Boys Singles 

Winner - Raghav from Haryana
Runner-up - Manraj Singh from Delhi

Under 11 

Girls Singles

Winner - Unnati Hooda from Haryana
Runner-up - Prashansa Bonam from Telangana

Boys Singles 

Winner - Neer Nehwal from Delhi
Runner-up - Devang Tomar from Delhi

Under 9 

Girls Singles 

Winner - Srija None from Uttar Pradesh
Runner-up - Angel Punera from Uttar Pradesh

Boys Singles

Winner - Aksh Singh from Uttar Pradesh
Runner-up - Prateek Koundilya from Karnataka

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