The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has initiated a movement called Angkat Raketmu (pick up your rackets) in a bid to renew the championship spirit in national badminton.
Jointly held with soft drink producer Coca Cola Indonesia, the movement was launched at Langsat Park, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Tuesday by PBSI chairman Gita Wirjawan.
Present at the ceremony were president director of Coca Cola Indonesia Martin Gil, chairman of the Indonesian Olympic Committee Rita Subowo and officials from the city administration.
The ceremony was marked by Gita and Martin Gil playing a friendly men’s doubles match against Atlanta Olympic gold medalists Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaki.
It was announced that one million free rackets were distributed throughout the nation.
For every three points earned by Gita-Martin, PBSI and Coca Cola Indonesia promised to build a badminton court in a city park.
The match ended with a 17-21 win for Ricky-Rexy, which means five badminton courts will be built in city parks in addition to the ongoing development of 10 badminton courts in residential areas in Banten, Cirebon (West Java), Purwokerto and Magelang (Central Java) and Malang (East Java).
“We all know that badminton is a popular sport in Indonesia, but it used to be more popular than it currently is,” Gita said.
“When I was little, everybody seemed to play badminton in their houses, streets or garages but not anymore,” said Coca Cola Indonesia public relations executive Titi Nurmalasari.
She said the movement was expected to promote an active and healthy lifestyle through badminton.
The movement was a follow-up to a cooperation between PBSI and Coca Cola Indonesia signed in April.
The movement entails recruiting talent, reviving the spirit and passion for badminton, inspiring young generations through the championship spirit of badminton and encouraging youth participation for badminton development.
Assistant deputy governor for population control Usmayadi said that in the 1970s, out of 120 million Indonesians, Rudy Hartono alone was able to collect eight All-England trophies.
“Right now we have more than 200 million people, we are supposed to produce more champions and trophies,” he said.
Gita praised Indonesian shuttlers, who were able to bring home several titles this year, including the prestigious All-England title, world championships, Malaysia Open, India Open, Indonesia Open and Singapore Open.
“We are able to prove that badminton is no longer dominated by China,” he said.