THE DANISH STORY
Until 1925 playing Badminton in Denmark was something you did in the garden. But Skovshoved changed that for good a summer day in 1925. They’d build a new hall where members of the club played tennis – but the court was too little so they made their own rules. The Chairman in Skovshoved at that time knew that a game familiar to tennis was played in England – the game was Badminton!
And on a summer day in 1925 four men, who had played the game all summer in their garden, came to Skovshoved to demonstrate how to play badminton. Two sessions were scheduled – one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The afternoon session didn’t become the expected success with only six spectators, but when the four demonstrators cancelled the evening session, four of the spectators jumped in as substitutes and it became a huge success despite their lack of ability.
25 out of 50 spectators became members that evening and that’s how it all started.
The lack of knowledge about the game was obvious. Using the drop was considered tactless so the shuttle was just hit back and fourth all the time. That changed in October 1928 where the Irish Major J.C.M McCullum and his Strollers came to Denmark (Skovshoved) to instruct them how to play Badminton.
At their arrival in Esbjerg on October 24th the customs officers had never seen or heard of a shuttle like that and wouldn’t let them in. The Strollers therefore had to demonstrate the use of the shuttle which ended up with the customs officers playing themselves.
The Strollers’ visit was a great success and it was repeated each year around Denmark. Many cities, clubs and players profited by this demonstration of the game and Badminton became more and more popular in Denmark.
More clubs popped up in first years after Badminton came to Denmark. Københavns Badminton Klub and Gentofte Badminton Klub were founded in 1928 and Helsinge Badminton Klub in Nothern Zealand came in 1929. Today there are more than 660 clubs in the Badminton Association of Denmark.
The Badminton Association of Denmark was founded in 1930. The game had spread so fast to every part of the country that it was necessary to have a central union/association to set the guidelines for the game and its development in the future. In 1934 the first district were founded in Copenhagen – and the other parts of the country followed quickly. The central administration and control were now spread to the local districts giving them the power to develop Badminton in there own district.
During the Second World War the sport faced practical problems never seen before. The Germans commandeered many badminton halls, there were the blackout, light restrictions and prohibition of heat in the halls. These were extreme conditions but the Danes played anyway. During the five years of war the Badminton Association of Denmark experienced a huge rise in both individual and club memberships.
And here we are today as one of the largest associations in Danish sport.
Through times Denmark has won many international tournaments – All England, World and European Championships just to mention some titles – and it has benefited the Badminton Association as organizers of big events. The World Championships in 1983, 1991 and 1999 and the European Championships 1996 and 2008 were all successfully organized by the Badminton Association of Denmark and Denmark Open is part of the Super Series. The goal is to get the World Championships to Denmark again (either the individual championships or the Sudirman Cup) and it’s realistic to hope for.
Today Badminton Denmark can look back on having hosted the World Individual Championships together with the Sudirman Cup (Mixed Team World Championships) in 1983, 1991, 1999 and the World Individual Championships in 2014, the European Individual Championships 1996, 2008 and 2017, and the European Team Championships in 2019. We have a goal to host Thomas and Uber Cups (World Team men’s and women’s Championships) in 2020 in Aarhus and World Individual Championships again in Copenhagen in 2023 and hopefully also in 2030 to celebrate the 100 year’s birthday of Badminton Denmark.