Outside the Olympics, Teqball’s profile continues to rise

The sport of teqball continues to increase its footprint in the international sports sphere. FITEQ was recently recognized for its social media presence and social impact.

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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

The sport of teqball did not feature at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games last year. However, the profile of the sport continues to grow as the International Teqball Federation’s (FITEQ) social impact and social media presence were recognized on two separate occasions at the start of the year.

FITEQ was recognized as an International Sports Organisation (ISO) of the Month earlier this year by The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA). The award recognized FITEQ’s efforts in the areas of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

FITEQ Head of CSR and Diplomatic Relations Gergely Murányi, stated, “Sport for All is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our vision is to enable every person to participate in teqball and para teqball and to allow all involved to reach their full potential, whatever level that might be.”

He continued, “we aim for equal opportunity in all areas – in terms of gender equality, in terms of development support for less fortunate communities and in terms of giving parasport athletes the chance to shine on the global stage.”

Pernille Smith of Norway plays teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
Pernille Smith of Norway plays teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. Picture taken December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

Murányi also expounded on one of his favorite efforts undertaken by FITEQ, stating, “we have a number of development programs to support the global teqball community, but perhaps the one that is closest to my heart is the Table of Peace initiative.”

“The program seeks to support young people from war-torn or disadvantaged areas by providing sporting activities that help give them an escape from the daily challenges they face, whilst also teaching them transferrable skills and key values such as teamwork, inclusivity and integrity.”

In an exclusive interview with Around the Rings late last year, FITEQ General Secretary Marius Vizer Jr. explained the strategy behind the development and growth of teqball. He noted the approach taken by FITEQ, stating, “we also try to focus on teqball being a lifestyle, not just a sport.”

The success of that approach is unclear, though the popularity of FITEQ’s social media channels is certainly worth noting. FITEQ ranked seventh in the 2021 BCW International Sports Federations Social Media Ranking; a high ranking for a sport founded in the last decade that does not feature at the Olympic Games.

Former FIFA player of the year and football World Cup winner Ronaldinho of Brazil plays Teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas
Former FIFA player of the year and football World Cup winner Ronaldinho of Brazil plays Teqball at the Teqball World Championships in Budapest, Hungary December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

FITEQ scored high marks throughout the rating, including the second highest ranking for a non-Olympic sport. They were also given the third highest social media growth rate for any international sports federation in 2021. The federation noted its large following on TikTok and vast engagements on Instagram and Facebook as contributing factors to that ranking.

FITEQ Head of Digital and Marketing Services Artur Papizsanszkij explained, “as was the case in 2020, the pandemic continued to provide challenges to the world of sport in 2021.”

He continued, “this made our digital engagement strategy all the more important as we looked to continue our upward trajectory. Heading into this year, we had over 3 million followers across our social channels. Today, we have surpassed 6 million and we are chasing down even higher numbers!”

Papizsanszkij concluded, “our digital growth has been at the heart of the teqball journey from the very beginning and it will continue to be an important contributor to the development of teqball and para teqball as we adapt to a post-pandemic world.”

As teqball continues to grow, so do the conversations around the sports potential inclusion at the Olympic Games. In his exclusive interview with Around the Rings last year, FITEQ General Secretary Marius Vizer Jr. stated, “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.”

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