MOSCOW, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Officials with the Russian Defense Ministry said all military units are being provided with badminton equipment to help them sharpen their skills.
Alexander Schepelev, head of physical training for the ministry, said about 10,000 rackets and tens of thousands of shuttlecocks are being purchased for the units to help soldiers with their eye muscles, cardiovascular strength and reaction speed, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
"Badminton is very useful for every soldier without exception. But it will be particularly useful for shooters and snipers," Schepelev said.
However, Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of Russia's Institute of Political and Military Analysis, said playing the sport would likely only benefit soldiers by providing a way to relieve stress.
The move comes after President Dmitry Medvedev posted a clip to his official blog of a badminton game he played with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Medvedev said in the clip, which was aimed at children, the sport "develops your physical form, eye coordination, accuracy and reactions."