Badminton is one of the renowned sports in our country. The popularity of Badminton has grown over the decades and at present is ranked as the No. 2 sport of the country after cricket. From a small kid to an aged adult, anyone can play this game. Over the years, several badminton players have achieved global fame and have made the country proud by winning many international championships.

Prakash Padukone was the first player from India who achieved the world no 1 spot in Badminton in the year 1980. Srikanth Kidambi was the second male player who achieved the title of men’s singles badminton player in the world in 2018. Saina Nehwal is the first female player from India and the second Indian player after Prakash Padukone who achieved the World no.1 spot in April 2015. She also won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, which was the first Olympic medal for India in Badminton. P.V Sindhu became the second female player from India to win a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Other renowned players of the nation are Aparna Popat, Pullela Gopichand, Chetan Anand, Prannoy Kumar, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, etc. History of Badminton in India

Badminton is said to be a descendant of an early sport named battledore and shuttlecock which used to be a famous game in ancient Greece over 2000 years ago. Back in the 1800s, British Army officers stationed in Pune gave this sport its present form. As the city of Pune was formerly known as ‘Poona’ during that time, the game was also named as ‘Poona’. The sport aimed to keep the shuttlecock in the air using a racket. One who can keep the shuttlecock in the air for a long time was declared the winner.

During the 1870s, after mastering the game in India, the Britishers took the equipment back to England. It is said that in England, the Duke of Beaufort once hosted a lawn party in his farmhouse. The name of his farmhouse was Badminton. ‘Poona’ was played on that day and became very popular among the guests who were present there. This is how the game got its name.

When Should You Start Playing Badminton?

Badminton is a sport that can be played at different levels and people of all ages can play it depending upon the level. As every level of badminton has certain physical needs, hence as the level goes higher, the age matters.

1. Singles and Doubles at the International Level

The international level of badminton is very tough and cannot be played easily after training for a few months. To establish an international career, one should start playing the game very early.

A child should start getting coaching for badminton at the age of 7 or 8 if he/she wants to play at the international level. Generally, at the international level, the players are selected at a very adolescent age. 12 years old players are selected by the Badminton Association of India and have to go through onerous training. This helps them to stay healthy and also improves their understanding of the game. Once the player turns 17 years old, he/she has the capability to become one of the famous badminton players.

Badminton aspirants want to become double shuttlers so that they can play at international tournaments and championships. These players must start playing at the minimum age of 10 and can play until the age of 35 years.

2. Others

Badminton is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. A person can play badminton to stay healthy or for entertainment purposes. Many adults in clubs are seen playing badminton. Several senior citizens are also seen playing this game.

Unless one wants to play at international tournaments o championships, there is no prescribed age limit or fitness level. Hence, anyone can play badminton at any age.

Badminton Coaching Academies in India

Some of the renowned coaching academies that provide training in badminton are listed below.

  • Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy: Established in 1994 by Prakash Padukone, Vimal Kumar, Vivek Kumar, this academy is famous for producing remarkable badminton players. The academy is based in Bengaluru.
  • Surjit Singh Badminton Academy: This academy is based in Pitampura and was started by Surjit Singh in the year 1995. He has worked as a senior coach at the Sports Authority of India for a long time. This academy has also produced many top-ranking players.
  • Gopichand Badminton Academy: Gopichand Badminton Academy is one of the best badminton academies in India. It is run by Pullela Gopichand who is one of the top badminton players in India. Based in Hyderabad, this academy is famous for its training quality facilities and has produced international level players like Saina Nehwal, P.V Sindhu, and Srikanth Kidambi.
  • Ardor Badminton Academy: This academy is located in Rohini and is run by top professionals who are badminton experts. The academy has four courts and good infrastructure.

Badminton Association of India (BAI)

Badminton Association of India governs the sport of badminton in India. Formed in 1934, BAI is responsible for holding national-level tournaments in India since 1936. The headquarters of BAI is in New Delhi, India. Badminton Association of India should launch a junior development program to improve funding for nurturing untapped talent

There a quite a few talented players who miss out on funding because they are unable to make it to the name list of the flagship Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. The TOP scheme identifies potential players and offers them Rs 50,000 per month for training. The Badminton Association of India should launch a junior development program so that they come in touch with every badminton player who can do well in India in the coming years. These junior players should get maximum support for playing at domestic and international levels. It would be wonderful if the National Sports Federation of India starts identifying young badminton players for the Olympic Games in 2024 and start funding them.

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