Photo: Dee’lite via Flickr
The Russian military is about purchase 10,000 badminton rackets and thousands of shuttlecocks in a bid to encourage soldiers to take up the game, reports Reuters.Officials have said that the game requires the same muscles used to throw a grenade or other projectile, while following the shuttlecock trains the eye and improves reaction speeds.
It is reported that seven military facilities across the country each have 10 badminton courts. However, all military bases will receive equipment to allow the troops to take up the sport.
Badminton is experiencing something of a renaissance in Russia of late. Last month, President Dmitry Medvedev appeared in an online video playing the sport against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The President admitted his passion for the sports, and applauded the fact that those who play seem to be able to make quick decisions.
UPDATE: The Guardian has reported that, contrary to this morning’s reports, the Russian Defence Ministry is denying the troops will be taking up the sport. The Russian newspaper that initially broke the story, Izvestiya, has stood by its words, saying it has seen the rackets and the courts intended for military use.
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