Badminton is an extremely popular sport in Denmark. A nordic country in Nothern Europe, Denmark has been ruling the badminton sport with just a population of 5.8 million. Notably, according to a recent ranking, Denmark houses 24 players within the top 50 World rankings. Also, the country has won 9 Olympic medals to date making it is the most dominant European country in the sport.
Interestingly, India with a population of 1.3 billion also houses the same number of players on the world ranking list. India has won 3 Olympic medals in badminton. With a massive difference in population, how come Denmark is bringing up a revolution in badminton?
The country of less than 6 million boasts a few of the top players in world badminton with World no. 2, Victor Axelson being the most prominent one. This may take you by surprise, that Denmark is the only European country to win an Olympic gold medal. In this article, I have discussed certain factors that have helped Denmark dominate badminton and give tough competition to Asian countries.
The club system is one of the main reasons for the success of badminton in Denmark. It allows athletes to interact and compete with a variety of players including those that are far more skilled. Badminton Association of Denmark started with 6 clubs when it started in 1930. Now, it boasts 706 clubs with a total of 94,000 members nationwide. These clubs are very well organized and offer training sessions for most of their members. Each club has atleast one educated coach who trains on group or individual basis.
Moreover, the goal of all the clubs is to reach the Danish Team League. Also, Badminton Denmark provides a wide range of opportunities for players of all ages and levels. Several tournaments are organized for players with National camps starting from the age of 9 or 11. They have also built up a National training center in Copenhagen where all the best players meet for their training needs under 4 coaches.
Moreover, there are 6 regional talent centers that offer add-on training to the best junior players apart from their normal club training. In addition, the best of these junior players are offered to practice in one of the two elite centers where they are offered training sessions on a weekly basis.
The weather conditions in Denmark are cold throughout the year which discourages the population from playing outdoor sports. Since badminton is an indoor sport, the majority of the population flock to different clubs to play the sport.
Coach Education Program
Badminton Denmark hosts an extensive coach education program. They continuously help all clubs to educate their coaches. Training manuals are distributed to clubs so that proper badminton techniques can be used. Badminton Denmark has also introduced the “talent development strategy and program”, which offers the most ambitious badminton clubs information and guidelines to create a developing and fun training environment.
Team League Culture
The Danish Badminton League is a National team tournament played among all the badminton clubs in Denmark. Notably, the winner of the league qualifies for the Europe Cup. The League has been played since the 1930s in which athletes participate and play according to the same age level. Moreover, the categories start from U9 up to +50 team league competition.
Denmark boasts a number of role models like Peter Gade, Jan O Jorgenson, Tine Rasmussen that inspire many others to take up the sport. Moreover, these retired players have moved on to coaching which has significantly helped in the development of the sport. The Peter Gade Badminton Academy is one of the most prolific badminton academies in the world.
What can other countries learn from Denmark?
The badminton structure in Denmark benefits maximum because of its volunteers. Similarly, a strong volunteer program in different countries can help to strengthen the training and development of badminton in the country.
A proper club system is something that will motivate players of all ages to give in their best and bring about discipline in the entire system.
A structured local tournament structure is another thing that other countries can learn from Denmark. Moreover, there are several tournaments organized for all age groups. Therefore, this brings about excitement and energy among all players to participate and give in their best.
Another point that I would like to add is that instead of depending on the government for everything, changes can take place with voluntary participation from the public as well to improve the badminton structure in that country.
A structured training and development regime for coaches as well as for the kids is another key aspect that other countries can adopt.
Another key opportunity is to start a similar Domestic Tournament League for all age groups in such countries to increase participation and excitement in the sport.
All the clubs are run by unpaid volunteers that participate and contribute willingly to the development of the clubs and the sport in general. These volunteers train young players, arrange camps and tournaments at the clubs. This is one of the crucial reasons for the success of badminton in Denmark. I hope now you have got a fair idea as to how Denmark has made a significant change in the way badminton is structured and played.