Future Olympic sport? Teqball continues their upward trajectory with a firm focus on the future

In the span of just a few years, Teqball has gone from an infant sport to a rapidly growing member of GAISF. Fresh off the 2021 World Championships, the young sport remains focused on the future and hopes of Olympic inclusion.

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Gregory Engelbrecht of Aruba and Al Barilan Shahul Hameed of Malaysia play teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
Gregory Engelbrecht of Aruba and Al Barilan Shahul Hameed of Malaysia play teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

“We want teqball to be available anytime, anywhere, and to anybody.”

Those were the words spoken by Marius Vizer Jr, General Secretary of the Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ), during an interview with Around the Rings that took place amidst the backdrop of the organization’s recent world championships in Gliwice, Poland.

Speaking on the world championships, Vizer Jr. commented, “I think this is quite a good number to have 105 athletes from 32 countries over four continents. This shows the growth of teqball, and the interest of the sports community in us.”

On the overall growth of the sport, Vizer Jr. stated, “I’m very happy that today we have 127 national federations, and we have more than 3,000 clubs established.”

While the discussion covered some of the present dealings of FITEQ, the focus of the interview shifted to the future of the organization.

When asked about the best moments or achievements of FITEQ so far, he responded, “launching the para sport this year is a big step, which made me very happy to be involved in the development of it. Also, being included in the [2023] European Games is something which I was very proud of.”

European Teqball Tour  (FITEQ)
European Teqball Tour (FITEQ)

“We have all put forward hard work at FITEQ for this, and this is a sign of recognition from the sports community and it shows that teqball is actually being accepted in the international and European sports movement,” he said. “

“It is definitely a sign we have all worked hard together, and have put values into teqball.”

The Hungarian sports official also looked to market the positive aspects of teqball, saying, “We think that teqball is a sport that is very reachable because of gender equality, the possibility of playing one-on-one or in pairs, and no physical contact, which is important because of COVID-19.”

He added, “It is very important again to stress that FITEQ wants to make sure teqball is available all over the world at the same time.”

On a possible Olympic future Vizer Jr. remains excited, but realizes a lot of work remains before that day arrives.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Denmark Training - Elsinore, Denmark - June 10, 2021  Denmark's  Kasper Schmeichel and teammates play Teqball during training PHOTOGRAPHER/Ritzau Scanpix via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Denmark Training - Elsinore, Denmark - June 10, 2021 Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel and teammates play Teqball during training PHOTOGRAPHER/Ritzau Scanpix via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.

“Everybody dreams of being one day included into the Olympic program, but again, our dream is that teqball is played in all the countries, and we have national federations in all the countries. We have a very, very wide community of teqball and the number of clubs and athletes is rising.”

“I think, as soon as the pandemic ends, we will have the possibility to spread the sport even more, and in a wider range, because borders will be open again, international competitions can take place again, and people can practice sports again.”

What makes teqball so appealing across the globe? Vizer Jr. knows.

“Our system of club development, which is giving the opportunity to people to have tables all over the world, who just need to ask for tables and to establish the clubs, and then we are offer them.”

“Also, I think that to play teqball you don’t need more than a curved table, which needs a minimum of two players, which is very easy to get. You don’t need to build up venues, you don’t have to be two men or two women, but you can mix up or you can play in a mixed team, and the diversity of the game. is one of our best assets.”

He added, “We also try to focus on teqball being a lifestyle, not just a sport.”

Perhaps it is this lifestyle that caught the attention of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) when it made the sport a full member in late 2020. At the time, Vizer Jr. saw membership within GAISF as a “huge milestone for teqball” and as “the birth of our sport.”

Natalia Guitler of Brazil plays teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
Natalia Guitler of Brazil plays teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

However, with the dissolution of GAISF looming Vizer Jr. stated that teqball will continue to develop regardless of the outcome, stating, “we are continuing to develop the sport in the same way. Of course, the GAISF was a big support for us. We are following very strictly what is happening with GAISF and the dissolution process, and will see what steps need to be taken next.”

A teqball world without the support system of GAISF will be complicated to navigate but far from impossible.

“Definitely already being a member of GAISF now will not bring us behind. I’m sure that the diplomacy of sports will find a right solution to manage this issue whatever the decision will be,” Vizer Jr. said.

Regardless of what becomes of GAISF, it is clear from Vizer Jr.’s remarks that FITEQ is a federation focused on maintaining their incredible growth, and making teqball available “anytime, anywhere, and to anybody.”

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