Thursday 23 May 2013
Teams representing the community foundations of Arsenal and Portsmouth have been crowned champions at the Premier League 4 Sport Badminton Championships at the National Badminton centre in Milton Keynes.
Arsenal emerged as winners in the boys’ category and Portsmouth were triumphant in the girls’ competition in a Premier League 4 Sport initiative - in partnership with BADMINTON England - that gives nearly 10,000 young people across the country the chance to try their hand at the Olympic sport.
The initiative - which is a joint venture between the Premier League, BADMINTON England, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust – has seen 80 new satellite badminton clubs set up with the football clubs’ community foundations over the last two years.
In the competition, defending champions Arsenal came through a field of 10 teams representing community foundations of professional football clubs across the country and they emphatically defeated Wigan Athletic 5-0 in the final of the boys’ category.
The 2012 winners beat Portsmouth, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion in the group stages and won the local bragging rights with a 5-0 semi-final victory over north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
In the girls’ section, newcomers Portsmouth won the tournament in their first ever appearance at the event. In the absence of 2012 winners Aston Villa, Pompey got through to the knockout stages with victories over Arsenal, West Brom and Wigan before routing Manchester United 5-0 in the last four.
That set up a final with Arsenal and the south-coast club, who were last in the Barclays Premier League in the 2009/10 season, sealed the title with a narrow 3-2 victory.
Away from the team event, Player of the Championship awards went to Aoife Shanahan of Tottenham in the girls’ category and Stoke City boys’ player Jonathan Pratt. Both winners were sent a badminton racket and T-shirt as a reward.
To read the latest report outlining Creating Chances, which highlights the work the Premier League and its clubs did at the heart of their community, click here.