Thursday 15 March 2012

Premier League 4 Sport courts success

First PL4S National Badminton Championships takes place on Saturday

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes lends his support to PL4Sport

The Barclays Premier League trophy will make a surprise appearance at the first ever Premier League 4 Sport National Badminton Championships in Milton Keynes on 18th February.

The iconic trophy, which has been lifted by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers, will be on public display at the National Badminton Centre during the inaugural event on Saturday.

The tournament sees 150 children, representing 15 Barclays Premier League clubs, battling it out on court for bragging rights.

The championships begin at 10am, with the finals taking place at 3pm. The Barclays Premier League trophy will be on display between 1pm-4pm.

Premier League 4 Sport, a pioneering sports participation programme, harnesses the nation's love of football to inspire young people to take up the opportunity to sample four Olympic sports.

New funds

Badminton has been one of the beneficiaries, with stars such as Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, Tottenham’s Luka Modric and Ledley King as well as Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, all swinging rackets.

Nearly 10,000 young people across the country have been inspired to give badminton a try during the past two years and more than 80 new satellite badminton clubs, tied to the football clubs' community foundations, have been set up to cater for the increased demand.

Launched in 2009, PL4S is a joint venture between the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust.

It was funded by a £3.8m investment through the Premier League Creating Chances programme in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The programme has inspired more than 39,300 youngsters across the country to try out a new sport and it has proved to be such a success that the Barclays Premier League has committed to another £2m of funding.

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Key Points

  • First-ever PL4S National Badminton Championships takes place on Saturday
  • 150 children, representing 15 clubs, will take part
  • Barclays Premier League trophy will be on display