Most people are unaware of the fact that badminton is the second most popular sport in the world, in terms of participation. It is continuously growing in popularity due to its health benefits, low cost, as well as low risk of injuries. There are more than 190 members, who are part of the Badminton World Federation. Badminton fans and players come from all over the world.
While it originated in the UK, badminton has spread far beyond the country and has become very popular in almost all Asian countries, as well as many countries in Europe.
These are 10 countries where badminton is popular:
Badminton is a prevalent sport in China and is played in schools and college all over the country. The adults and children equally enjoy the game. The sport has many followers, and China has produced many top players and Olympic winners. China has been a leading performer in badminton for many decades and has consistently achieved top places in international competitions.
2. South Korea
South Korea is another country where badminton is quite popular. South Korea has produced many world top players such as Lee Yong Dae, Son Wan Ho, to name a few.
Malaysia is another country where people love the sport. Malaysia has a well accomplished national team that represents the country in different international competitions. Badminton was played as early as 1925 in Penang, and in the year 1960, the Badminton Association Malaysia (BAM) was established.
5. United Kingdom
Badminton is among the most popular racquet sports in the UK; it’s a hugely popular sport played by youth and adults alike. According to several sources, in 1873, badminton got its name when it was played in the Duke of Beaufort’s place, in Gloucestershire, called Badminton House. Nowadays, the game is played in many schools and colleges across the country.
In Denmark, Badminton is believed to date back to around 1925 when a sports shop owner started playing it with his friends. Due to the cold winters, which dissuade outdoor sports, badminton provides an excellent alternative as is mainly played indoors. There are several Danish players, who have reached top places in the world rankings. The country is, certainly, among the top ten strongest countries in the sport.
While outdoor winter sports are predominantly popular in Sweden, badminton is one of the indoor sports Swedes prefer to play. There are various badminton leagues, as well as badminton facilities with people who are always ready to play the game
According to a survey done by the Singapore Sports Council, Badminton, in the country, is the second most popular sport in terms of spectators, after soccer, and the fifth most played sport. It was in 1986 that Singapore, after gaining independence, qualified, for the first time, as an independent nation for Thomas Cup, which is the World’s men’s Team Championship.
The sport become official, in the mid 20th century, with the creation of the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT). Badminton received extensive support from the royal family, especially from the former King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, an ardent badminton player, who made many notable contributions to the sport.
Nowadays, the sport is becoming more popular as more Thai players achieve global recognition. For instance, in 2013, Ratchanok Intanon was the first Thai woman to become a world champion in women’s singles.
Although badminton is not among the most popular sports played in the country, Japan is slowly coming on the world stage, as its players see more success in international competitions. In the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Ayaka Takahashi, and Misaki Matsutomo won the women’s doubles title, taking home the country’s first gold medal in badminton women’s doubles.
As a result, it’s no secret that Japan is seriously gearing up to bring home more medals in the coming Olympics. In recent years, more Japanese animes on badminton are being produced; that’s how serious the sport is becoming in the country.
8 Reasons Why Badminton is Growing in Popularity
For instance, in Spain, badminton has really taken off since Carolina Marin, in the 2016 Rio Olympics, won the country’s first gold medal in badminton. Also, the sport is rapidly gaining attention in India, as more and more players, like Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, achieve success at international competition.
Also, in recent years, the small states in Europe have come together to organize a brand new tournament on the continent. This will include countries such as Cyprus, Monaco, Luxemburg, Malta, Gibraltar, etc. This is a sign that the popularity of badminton is rapidly increasing in Europe as well.
All this indicate that badminton is poised to keep growing in popularity. Here are some possible reasons driving badminton popularity:
1. A sport for all ages.
Badminton is a sport that can be played by people of all ages. In fact, you will find enthusiasts ranging from ages 5 to 75, actively playing this game. It is a game the whole family can play. In fact, it is a favorite game at family picnics and holidays.
2. Low cost to play.
The game pretty much requires two racquets and a shuttlecock to play, which are quite affordable. People may play with or without a net. It is an all-weather game that can be played indoors, as well as outdoors. While a proper game requires a good badminton court and nets, they are not essential to casually enjoy the game. The game is usually played in small playgrounds, apartment complexes, house terraces, driveways, and backyards.
3. An indoor and outdoor sport
4. A ‘non-contact’ sport.
As you probably know, badminton is a non-contact sport, which means that the players have no physical contact during the course of the game. This makes it safe and less physically taxing. Compared to most team sports, like football or hockey, the injuries are considerably lesser in badminton.
5. Encouraged in schools and colleges
6. Large companies are involved in the sport
Big sports companies, like Yonex and Adidas, have entered the badminton market and are pumping in huge amounts of cash and resources in promoting the game worldwide. Their marketing efforts and sponsorships are driving the global attention of badminton. As a result, the increased publicity is getting more people to try out the game.
7. A thrilling spectator sport.
Badminton is a fascinating sport for spectators, as there is a lot of intense action and drama. There are leaps, smashes, close wins, and continuous action. In fact, according to ESPN, badminton is only second to football (soccer) as the most popular played sport in the World. Although an average match lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes compared to the three hours of a tennis match, it’s still quite exciting to watch.
8. A great sport for improving health.
Badminton is vouched by many as one of the best sport for improving your health. The game can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, as injuries are less common compared to most sports. Therefore, you can get an excellent full body workout while having a good time. On top of that, playing badminton is good for your respiratory system, joints, and large muscle groups. Also, it helps to stretch the muscles and keep the body supple.
Badminton is an excellent sport for all genders, nationalities, and ages. It is rare to have a game that is fun, safe, low cost, and health-promoting- all at the same time. In the coming years, we will see the sport of badminton gaining popularity as more talent emerges from non-Asian countries and the media coverage of the international competition increases.