Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson believes tonight’s opening fixtures of the National Badminton League (NBL) represent an exciting moment for the sport in Britain.
The NBL is a first of its kind in the UK and sees Team GB Olympians feature in six franchise outfits who will play on monthly-match nights before the top four battle it out for the inaugural title in June 2015.
To add to the excitement, new in-play features such as ‘PowerPlay’ points and substitutions have been added to the new scoring system, which consists of first to nine point games in best of five matches.
Robertson, who won silver at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, is delighted the new competition will be shown live on Sky Sports and hopes it will act as big boost for the sport.
“It’s still badminton with a few twists on the rules, but we will now have top quality badminton on TV and live at the location,” said the 37-year-old NBL Ambassador.
“My motivation for helping to set it up was that if you are a 16-year-old developing player it is hard to envisage yourself on television unless you made the Olympics.
“Now we’ve got a lot of talented players in the under-19 age groups. To be playing live on television will give them a real incentive."
The action kicks off tonight live on Sky Sports 3 from 7.30pm and tickets are on sale for all fixtures with prices starting at £5 for children and £8 for adults.
Family tickets start from £28 and tickets still available for tonight’s openers in Milton Keynes and Birmingham. To book your seats, and for more information about the NBL, visit www.badmintonengland.co.uk/NBL