The Danish structure in badminton is unique compared to the rest of the world. You can play badminton in Denmark all your life and there are offers for every age group no matter if you are an elite or non-elite player.
Playing badminton in Denmark is very easy. Almost every town – big or small – has a club or more than one and they also have a hall to play in. Some better than others given the fact that many badminton clubs has to share their hall with handball, basket, table tennis, gymnastics etc. The best halls are the ones made for the purpose of playing only badminton – and fortunately, there are a lot of them around the country.
Whether you are 7 or 60 it’s possible to play badminton. You can play all your life because most clubs offer training/training time for each age group – juniors, seniors and veterans – elite or non-elite. And you will be put into a team of people matching your level. In this way you secure the fun of the game and the development of each player moving up in the system when getting better.
In Denmark it’s also possible to play a team tournament and individual tournaments whether you are an elite or non-elite player and no matter your age. And that really is the beauty and essence of the Danish structure – badminton is a sport for life and you do as well as you can at the level you’re on. Not everyone can become the next Tine Rasmussen or Peter Gade, and that’s okay because it’s allowed and possible for everyone just to play for the fun of it and for the good exercise.
Because of this unique structure and approximately 550 member clubs, the Badminton Association of Denmark (BAD) cannot just think and allocate resources to the elite. If it wasn’t for the non-elite, there wouldn’t be an elite and the other way around. There has to be offers to the non-elite players and clubs – and there are.
As mentioned before, there’s a team tournament for almost every level, there are individual tournaments, beginner’s cup, badminton camps, tournaments for elders etc. The list is long – there really is something for everyone to participate in.
The 8 districts under BAD primarily focus on the non-elite while the BAD focuses on both the elite and non-elite. Of course the elite – both juniors and seniors – has a special focus due to the fact that they win medals for Denmark and get a lot of time in television. Profiles and media time are two of the most important things in the process of getting young people to start playing badminton. So you can argue that when our players win a big tournament or gets TV time, BAD also profits from it.
Organising the Danish way with its unique club structure and the fact that it’s possible to play badminton all your life is something worth telling about to other countries. You cannot find this structure in other parts of the world and it has existed in Denmark since badminton came in the 1920s. Denmark has a special thing here to be very proud of.