Badminton Life

India Badminton

In spite of loosing out to lucrative games like cricket, badminton in India is still a widely followed sport.

In a lighter vein, it can be understood that even sporadic following of the game in India is significant in terms of numbers due to its population.

In India, badminton is mainly played as a recreational game by clubs, which are found in every locality. The game is played with a relaxed air, without special coaches and indoor facilities at an amateur level. The casual players don't bother about registering with the badminton authority of India.

In contrast, serious badminton is also played in India under the watchful guidance and control of the badminton authority of India. Regional and national tournaments are periodically conducted and talents are unraveled now and then, but the instances are far and few in between.

The main reason for badminton not able to get a foothold in India as a household sport is due to its indoor nature. Most of the Indians do not have the money or time to have an indoor court of their own or subscribing to a club. Even clubs have outdoor badminton courts in some areas, making the play very difficult in windy conditions.

Another important reason for the step motherly attitude to badminton is lack of social and monetary support for an emerging player. In India, under the present circumstances, only after a player has achieved something at the international level, he comes to the attention of media and sponsors alike. But in better-developed countries, identification of talent is done first, the player is supported to excel rather than start getting support after excelling, as is the prevailing condition in India.

Finally, Indian parents do not encourage their kids to indulge in any form of sports in general, because regional aspirations and bias is very great in India, unlike in other countries, where talent alone is being counted upon. This discrimination stems from the fact that in India, there are thousands of religious sub castes and about 837 languages, resulting in bitter regional differences, affecting sports as a whole, be it cricket, tennis or badminton. Because of the uncertain rewarding nature of sports, parents generally give more importance to the academic achievement of their kids in their formative years.

But thanks to the efforts of former Indian legends like Prakash Padukone, the situation is slowly and surely changing for the better for Indian badminton.

Probably the most important badminton personality India has ever produced in Prakash Padukone. He had won the Danish and Swedish opens and the All England Championships in his playing days, besides winning a commonwealth gold medal. He served as the Chairman of the Badminton Association of India and had coached the Indian national badminton team in 1993 and 1996.

Pullela Gopichand is another player who followed Padukone's footsteps by winning the All England badminton title. He had helped India to grab four medals in 1998 commonwealth games and reach Thomas cup finals in 2000.

Of late, Saina Nehwal and Aparna Popat have revived the interest of badminton among girls in India.

With their lean physique and quick reflexes by inheritance, Indians can do a lot better in the world of badminton than the limited successes that they have achieved till date.

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