It is now the title of a Redbull China documentary focusing on badminton and featuring Lingyin Temple’s monks enjoying and even excelling at the sport.
Founded in AD326, Lingyin Temple in China’s West Lake in Hangzhou has a history of about one thousand and seven hundred years. Monks there have built a simple badminton court between two Rohan halls and the facility is now home to the only Chinese Buddhist badminton team. Since its establishment in May 2010, the Lingyin Temple Badminton Team has had more than ten players. They train twice weekly, two hours per session.
To improve their technical level, the temple has hired a professional coach who used train former national champion Fu Qiang and Cheng Gang. In April, Lingyin Temple Badminton Team participated in the ‘Yu Lin Ceremony’ 2013 Redbull City badminton games which is China’s largest and most powerful amateur badminton event with 30 provinces, 173 cities and almost 6000 teams participating. The tournament uses the mixed-group format, in the same vein as BWF’s Sudiman Cup. In their first appearance in major competition, Lingyin Temple Badminton Team shocked fans by beating Hangzhou Railway Station for the second runner-up prize, thereby qualifying for the Zhejiang finals.
In the video, Lingyin Temple Badminton Team captain, Master Yan Kong (also the abbot of Lingyin Temple) declares “badminton should be a way of life”.
“It is a very meaningful thing for Buddhism and badminton to come together. Through badminton, players are able to understand their strengths and weaknesses better. One is able to overcome his weakness through Buddhism meditation which can ultimately become a good habit.”
Secretary General of Badminton World Federation (BWF) Thomas Lund complimented the video and sent best wishes to Lingyin Temple badminton players who will compete in the upcoming Redbull Badminton Tournament.
“Our sponsor, Redbull China has put together an awe-inspiring video that displays badminton beautifully. It’s obvious the monks at Lingyin Temple have a relentless passion for the sport.
“Their belief – which coincidentally is the name of the video – is reminiscent of BWF’s message that badminton is a great sport which we want to promote and share with people across the world.”