Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 11
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Special attention was always paid to sports in Azerbaijan. Badminton in particular, has started to regain attention in the country yet again, which was clearly seen during the European Games held in Baku.
Mikail Jabbarov, Azerbaijani Minister of Education, President of the Azerbaijani Badminton Federation, spoke with Trend Agency about the future of badminton, further plans for the development of this kind of sport in the country.
"Badminton is a very useful and interesting kind of sport," he said. "But perhaps people do not know much about it in Azerbaijan. Badminton develops almost all muscles and can be used as a preventive and corrective kind of sport for people with poor eyesight. The matter is that the speed of the shuttlecock, which hits sometimes 200 kilometers per hour, has a beneficial effect on the eye muscles."
"Badminton can be recommended for the treatment of myopia and hyperopia," he said. "Moreover, one can go in for this kind of sport for a long time. Generally speaking, an athlete finishes the career at about 30 years old in other kinds of sports. But one can play badminton at a serious level much longer. One of the tasks of the Azerbaijani Badminton Federation is to inform the population about the benefits of this kind of sport."
He said badminton is a very democratic sport, in the sense that no special infrastructure is needed to comprehend its basics.
"As for the specially equipped halls, the holding of the First European Games in Baku has been the biggest incentive in this regard," said Jabbarov, adding that prior to the Games, there wasn't a modern infrastructure for badminton in the country.
Jabbarov also noted that absolutely all the necessary badminton infrastructure, in particular special fields, nets, referee towers and so on were created for the Baku 2015 European Games.
"Now, with all this we can develop a direction, and hold various competitions in the future," said Jabbarov.
He added that the main task is to make Azerbaijani badminton qualify for the Olympic Games. Jabbarov also said that Azerbaijani badminton players will not get to the Olympics in 2016 as the selection is carried out on the basis of ranking points that are collected throughout the Olympic cycle.
"Our badminton players didn't have enough practice, they didn't take part in international ranking tournaments," he further said. "Today, our task is to get to the Olympic Games to be held in 2020 in Japan. Can we expect winning prizes? I'd say that the soldier who doesn't dream of becoming a general is a bad soldier. After all, the essence of sport lies in scaling the heights," he added.
Jabbarov also expressed belief that sometime in the near future Azerbaijani badminton players will be able to bring medals to the country.
Jabbarov said that Azerbaijan Badminton Federation will hold regular national championships in different age categories: for children of school age and adults. He said that badminton's absolutely unique advantage is that it is one of the few sports where there is a mix-competition involving both men and women.
This is one of the invaluable advantages of this sport, particularly in terms of involvement of all children of a certain age in the game, Jabbarov said.
"It is planned to hold the national championship in late fall," he said. "This will be announced in mid-September. By this time, the federation will have approved the terms of the tournaments and the rules of participation in them. Regular participation of the best of Azerbaijani athletes in the respective stages of the European Grand Prix or ranking tournaments will be provided."
"We also don't exclude holding one of the stages of some international badminton competition in Baku," he said. "The federation is already in discussions to identify the optimal schedule for hosting an international badminton tournament."
"Of course, competitions play an important role for the promotion of the game," said Jabbarov. "During the European Games in Baku, competitions in badminton had quite a large number of spectators, which was evident from the broadcasts. Playing live breaks stereotypes of how we perceive badminton. Badminton is a dynamic sport with sudden changes of pace, and that's what makes it entertaining, I think."