Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Do You Know About USA Badminton?

Badminton USA

 -The first badminton club in the country was formed in 1878, and was called The Badminton Club of New York.  It became a week-end place for the socially elite to gather and socialize.  Badminton became increasingly popular in the country in the 1930's when educational institutions, the YMCA and hundreds of growing clubs started offering badminton instruction.  Also fuelling the increasing popularity of the sport during this time was the interest of the sport by some of Hollywood's biggest stars:  James Cagney, Bette Davis, Boris Karloff, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, and Douglas Fairbanks.  The American Badminton Association was formed in 1936 and changed its name to the USBA in 1978, and then finally USA Badminton in 1996.  Programs form New York, Massachusetts, Chicago, and the West Coast amalgamated to be governed by one set of rules and regulations.  The first national championships were held in 1937 and the ABA became part of the IBF in 1938.  1949 saw the United States crowning its first world champion as David Freeman won the All-England Championships, and Clinton and Patsy Stevens won the All-England mixed doubles title.  Badminton USA continued to be successful between 1949-1967 when they won 23 individual championships.

 Today Badminton USA's headquarters are in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  USA badminton is governed by a volunteer board of directors that are elected every two years.  Under a president the board of directors place their emphasis on:
    * Increasing USA Badminton Membership
    * Improving the elite and junior players in the U.S.
    * Upgrading major tournaments, and
    * Continued excellent support from the National Office.

Badminton USA employs 12 high performance coaches to help train their elite athletes.  Rusli Ignatius, was an Indonesian team member and played for the USA until 1997. Cai Zi Min played for China and was the former national coach of Thailand, Nigeria and the United States.  Andy Chong from Malaysia and Wendy Carter from Canada, who was ranked third in the world in 1978,  make up the back-up squad.  On the development squad are: Melinda Keszthelyi from Hungary, American Kevin Hussey, American Joy Kitzmiller. The specialist coaches are made up of: Tony Gunawan from Indonesia, Bang Soo Hyun of South Korea, Halim Haryanto of Indonesia, Kevin Han who was a three time US Olympian, and former Chinese player Cindy Shi.

Badminton USA has an Educational Foundation that was formed in 1966 and has $120,000 to the growth of the game, education of the playing public, and promotion of the sport.

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