Group of badminton enthusiasts make their own place to play, learn in Plano

A student gets into position to hit the birdie in a class at Plano Badminton Center. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
A student gets into position to hit the birdie in a class at Plano Badminton Center. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

A student gets into position to hit the birdie in a class at Plano Badminton Center. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

When a community of North Texas badminton enthusiasts learned their go-to gym was closing, they found themselves without a place to play.

Cin Abidin remembers those days, when a couple dozen locals would meet at the former Texas Instruments campus in Plano. That property, which is now being remade as the Legacy Central mixed-use development, had a gymnasium designed for basketball—not badminton.

The facility’s limitations for badminton were obvious, Abidin said. The lights were aimed directly down toward the court, making it difficult to identify the badminton birdie—a feathered, ball-like projectile—in midair. Perhaps more concerning was the hard flooring, which created a risk of ankle injury for badminton players, Abidin said.

Still, when the group learned the gym was closing, it left them in the lurch, Abidin said.

That is why in late 2014, Abidin and three other group members opened their own gym in Plano. The facility is specially designed for badminton and offers monthly memberships and classes for adults and children.


“Once we opened, sure enough, people came,” Abidin said. “People came because they like the court and they like the environment that we give them. ... It’s a very professional court.”

Abidin admits starting a badminton-only gym in the U.S., which has not historically been as interested in the sport as other countries, was a bit of a risk at the time. But it was also an opportunity, he said, to improve their playing conditions.

Abidin, whose group has since opened another badminton facility in Irving, said he hopes that they can help popularize the sport in the United States.

Plano Badminton Center

4050 Premier Drive, Ste. 250, Plano

214-509-8168

www.planobadmintoncenter.com
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By Daniel Houston

Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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