Sports in Bangladesh are popular and becoming more and more popular. Especially the growing middle class has time for running, fitness, table tennis, basketball, but also for winter sports and soccer.
In addition to the massive state funding for top-level sports, there are many sports trends that recreational athletes in Bangladesh are discovering for themselves.
RUNNING IS A TREND SPORT
Running has become the most important sport for recreational athletes. 44 percent of sports-playing count running among their main sports. This trend can be also seen in other Asian countries. Especially in China.
In 2016, there were over one million marathon runners in China, as China expert Martin Kössler says. Among other things, he accompanies sports and outdoor companies as they enter the Chinese market. Sports is more than just to keep the balance between mind and body. In Asia it is more and more a way for socializing. Getting to know other people and just being part of their daily routine.
Last year, he adds, there were also more than 100 marathons in China. From the point of view of sports companies, runners in China are even a particularly interesting target group, says Kössler. Runners are much younger than in Europe, and they spend more money on their hobby. For example, the majority of running Chinese are between 36 and 45 years old, followed proportionately by 25- to 35-year-olds.
Another interesting aspect is that running is making fitness studios more popular again also in Bangladesh. Studios specializing in the needs of runners are springing up in major cities. Recreational athletes are happy to spend money on running shoes, clothing and accessories. However, it is modest compared to its neighboring countries.
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BADMINTON AND TABLE TENNIS
The two backstroke sports have been among the most popular sports in Bangladesh for years. That is quite a surprise.However, International professional sports are dominated by Chinese in both table tennis and badminton. But that does not take away the fun. The best badminton player of all time, two-time Olympic and five-time world champion Lin Dan, is also Chinese and one of the biggest sports idols ever in China and famous throughout Asia. ESPN ranks him among the 100 most famous athletes in the world.
The sports of badminton and table tennis are also very popular in China in the leisure sector. Over a third of Chinese who play sports also play badminton, and over a fifth like to pick up a table tennis bat.
ALSO VERY POPULAR: BASKETBALL AND BASEBALL
Among the normal population Basketball is very popular. You do not need much to play it. On a professional level however, China dominates. Even though everything Western has been banned, basketball was a popular sport in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 1976) and that popularity continues today. China is the largest international market for the American professional basketball league NBA. Over 18 percent of Chinese athletes play basketball.
Last but not least, Cricket rangs as the most popular sport in Bangladesh. That is no surprise to anyone who knows Bangladesh .