Get Inspired: How to get into Badminton

Badminton is officially the fastest racket sport in the world with the shuttle often travelling faster than a Formula 1 car!

With a combination of speed, agility and precision, badminton is not only one of the most played sports in the world; it is also one of the most exciting sports on the Olympic programme.

The sport was initiated in England but has been dominated by Asian countries in recent decades, with China leading the way.

However badminton remains a really popular sport in the UK, with more people playing it than either cricket or rugby!

Why is it good for you?

Badminton offers a full-body workout, improving fitness, flexibility and agility. It enables you to exercise the upper torso as well as the core and lower body.

As badminton can be played in pairs, it is an excellent way to develop communication skills and learn to work effectively with other people. It is a great option if you are looking for a social or competitive sport all year round.

The average distance travelled by a badminton player in a game is 3.7 miles, with an hour's play likely to burn approximately 544 calories.

Get involved

There are so many great ways to play badminton whatever your age, ability or reason for playing. Play badminton for fitness, health, to compete or just for fun.

With over 2,100 clubs across England, you will also be near one of the 24,000 courts in over 8,000 facilities.

For those looking to get started, badminton equipment can be relatively inexpensive to buy, with some sport centres and clubs also offering a rental service.

Hourly rates for hiring a court often begin at approximately £5 per session, although membership deals can create a lower cost per game.

Men and women compete against each other, with an estimated four to five million people aged between seven and 70 playing in the UK.

It is a very social sport and club nights and matches always include opportunities to meet new people and catch up with old friends.

For more details about the sport, have a look at Badminton England's beginner's guide. 

History

Badminton has its origins in ancient civilisations in Europe and Asia. The game known as battledore (bat or paddle) and shuttlecock probably originated more than 2,000 years ago.

Did you know?

Denmark's Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, who won the men's singles in 1996, remains the only gold medallist from outside China, South Korea or Indonesia, while all 15 medals at the 2008 Olympics went to Asian shuttlers.

A contemporary form of the sport called Poona was played in the 19th century in India and picked up by British Army officers, who brought the equipment back to England.

In 1873 it was played at the Duke of Beaufort's country retreat, Badminton House, from where the sport gets its name.

It was almost a century after the Duke of Beaufort was credited with introducing the sport to Europe that badminton made its debut as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

More on the IOC website 

Are you inspired to try Badminton? Or maybe you are a seasoned player already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

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What next?

For fitness, to compete or just for fun - find out more great ways to play badminton  .

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.

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