County in SW China's Guizhou thrives on badminton

(People's Daily Online) 10:12, May 19, 2023

With a population of about 200,000, Jinping county in southwest China's Guizhou Province has promoted the mass participation in badminton and boosted the development of the sports industry.

Jiang Qiyuan, 8, became a skilled badminton player after less than two years of training. In Jiang's school, there are nearly 300 students who play badminton well like himself.

When Jiang was in kindergarten, he participated in a badminton tournament but his performance was not satisfactory. After receiving professional training, which lasted a year, Jiang improved quickly, placing third in a tournament held the next year.

Jiang received training from a seven-person coaching team consisting of He Jianhao, who used to be deputy director of the badminton association of Nansha district in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province. Badminton training was offered to students from six schools in Jinping county.

He visited Jinping county three years ago as a member of a delegation headed by badminton world champion Wang Zhengming. The delegation was inspecting Jinping county in the hope of promoting badminton and cultivating talent there.

He found that the local residents really loved the sport, and he was impressed that many people started to play badminton as early as 5 to 6 a.m. But he also found that due to a lack of professional instruction, they generally didn't play very well.

In May 2021, the Wang Zhengming Badminton School was inaugurated at three schools in Jinping. Seven coaches, including He, were sent to teach badminton skills to the students and help organize tournaments in the county. More than 120 students have received professional training on a long-term basis under the training program.

"In the past, we didn't open any badminton classes. Now, the badminton interest group of our school has nearly 300 students, which indicates students' enthusiasm for the sport," said Xu Zhongshan, principal of a local primary school.

In January 2023, Jiang competed in a badminton tournament and won. Under the guidance of his coach, the boy has improved his skills.

After he came to Jinping, He has led the efforts to organize many badminton competitions, with support from the local government.

"The county supports the hosting of various types of competitions in the hope of boosting their popularity and fostering competition brands that are able to represent Jinping," said Wang Jianfeng, deputy director of the sports center of Jinping county.

Workers make badminton shuttlecocks in a workshop of Guizhou RSL Sports Culture Development Co., Ltd. in Jinping county, southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Photo/Xinhua)

The rapid development of badminton in Jinping is not only driven by the rising awareness of mass fitness, but also by the development of the badminton industry.

Guizhou RSL Sports Culture Development Co., Ltd., located in Jinping, supplies nearly 50 million badminton shuttlecocks to the market every year.

Hu Bing, who is a production manager of the company, said the company has provided 506 jobs to local people and last year, its output value hit 250 million yuan ($36 million). The company has invested more than two million yuan sponsoring badminton tournaments.

"There are five badminton equipment manufacturers and an industrial park in the county, and a high-standard gym for badminton, a badminton court and a badminton museum have been put into operation," said Wang Jianfeng, who added that last year, badminton tournaments attracted more than 200,000 tourist visits to the county.

"By planning scientifically and integrating various resources, we'll work to combine competitive sports, mass sports and the sports industry and make badminton a shining calling card for Jinping," Wang Jianfeng noted.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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