Which Country Has Badminton as a National Game?

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Did you know that badminton actually ranks second in terms of worldwide participation, which puts it just a slot behind soccer? Statistics indicate that it is actually enjoyed by over 220 million people around the world regularly. Despite this statistic making it one of the most popular sports around, do you know which country has badminton as its national game? 

Indonesia has badminton as its national game. While it is not an official national sport in Indonesia, so many people play and know if it that badminton can be considered Indonesia’s unofficial national sport. As a matter of fact, badminton is extremely popular in the country today and its players even excel on the national stage. Badminton is an indiscriminate game, accessible, and is quite visible in the Indonesian media, which further boosts its popularity amongst its citizens. 

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Why Is Badminton the National Sport of Indonesia?

Indonesians have come to love and excel in badminton and there are a ton of reasons why that has been the case in recent years. First of all, badminton is quite affordable and you don’t really need anything else other than a couple of rackets and a shuttlecock to get started.

Badminton Player Indonesia
Badminton is Indonesia’s unofficial national sport

It can be played in most places and by all walks of life or social status. Plus, its popularity has been tremendously aided by a lot of international exposure which has led to wins on the big stage. Some of the most popular badminton players that the country has produced are Tontowi Ahmad, Taufik Hidayat, Liliyana Natsir, and Sony Dwi Kuncoro.

Furthermore, many current badminton stars (as of 2021) also come from Indonesia, including Olympic gold medalists Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, the “minions” Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, the explosive men’s singles player, Anthony Ginting, and the hard hitting mixed doubles pair of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti. The only discipline that Indonesia is missing a top contender at the moment is in women’s singles.

With all these amazing stars to look up to, it’s easy to see why badminton is so popular in Indonesia!

Furthermore, badminton is perfect for an active lifestyle or even as a hobby. It sharpens your reflexes, focus, and even provides scholarships for promising athletes all over the archipelago. Most of all, it’s a fun indoor sport that can get communities together. 

When Did Badminton Become the National Sport of Indonesia?

While there is no official national sport in Indonesia, we can give some important milestones to give you an idea of when badminton became popular in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s badminton team was formed in 1951 and the sport was first introduced in the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1972. The Indonesian Open was inaugurated in 1982 and since then has become the most popular badminton event in the archipelago to date.

Indonesia won several Thomas Cups and three Uber Cups, which further cemented their dedication to the sport. In 1992, when badminton was then played as an official sport in the Olympics, the country brought home their first gold medals and became dominant in the discipline for years to come.

You can say that this was the time that badminton became such a popular sport in Indonesia.

Indonesia with a Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Trophy
Indonesia has won several Thomas and Uber Cups!

How Many Badminton Players Are There in Indonesia?

There are approximately 1 million badminton players in Indonesia. As they say, “when you say badminton, you say Indonesia.” It’s almost a religion in the country, and so it’s very hard to even equate how many badminton players there are. This is a rough estimate, so the real number could well be even higher! There are 270 million people in Indonesia and you can bet that millions of them play badminton at any given time. 

Indonesian Badminton Player
There are approximately 1 million badminton players in Indonesia.

How Does Indonesia Support Badminton as Its National Sport?

The Indonesian government hands out scholarships to promising athletes to support them as early as possible. They have consistently dominated the sport just behind China and Japan in recent years and have sent delegates to all prestigious international tournaments.

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