Sri Lanka’s teqball journey is about more than just sport
Teqball is on the rise in Sri Lanka, with the country’s National Teqball Federation showing excellent leadership as it looks to build awareness of the sport across the country and give more people the chance to play the world’s fastest growing sport.
The National Federation, which is recognised by the country’s NOC and Ministry of Sports, recently received over 50 Teq tables as part of FITEQ’s National Federation and Club Development Programmes and its team is now in the process of distributing the tables across the country. Tables have already been distributed to Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Diyatalawa, Kandy, Mahara, Velikada and Colombo. The National Federation is also developing beach teqball, with Vice President and hotel owner Malinga Fernando leading this initiative. The federation plans to distribute tables to beach resorts across the country in the coming months.
However, teqball’s journey in Sri Lanka is about more than just sport, with the National Federation embracing FITEQ’s ambition to use teqball to inspire positive change. Sri Lanka has been affected by natural disasters and conflicts in recent years, particularly in Northern Province and Eastern Province, and the country’s growing teqball community is determined to use the sport to create a lasting legacy in communities that need it the most.
Gobinath Sivarajah, who is a Marketing and Media Manager at the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka and Project Manager for the National Teqball Federation, explains the importance of creating teqball-powered CSR programmes: “It was only in 2009 that a 30 year civil war ended. Over 100,000 people died during the conflict, which has left many children without parents. On top of this, communities are still feeling the impact of the tsunami at the end of 2004. Peoples’ lives have been changed forever but we believe that through teqball, we can give them a better, heathier and happier lifestyle.” The federation’s CSR programmes will be implemented across the country, but there is an initial focus in Jaffna, which is a city that has been particularly hard-hit by the conflict and the tsunami.
The National Federation also enjoys a strong relationship with Sri Lanka’s prison community. The President of the National Federation is Gamini Jayasinghe, who is also the current NOC Treasurer. Before retirement, Jayasinghe was the Prisons Commissioner of Sri Lanka and he has been able to use his connections to help accelerate the growth of teqball whilst supporting the prison community.
In addition to this, the National Federation has scheduled introductory workshops in Eastern Province, Colombo, Kandy, Negombo, and Matara and it plans to undertake online training for coaches before organising a National Championships in June. The federation will also send a team to the Asian Beach Games in Sanya, where teqball will make its debut as a medal sport.
The federation’s initiatives are communicated through multiple channels, notably social media, to help build awareness of teqball and engage young in the sport. Thanks to the work of Sri Lanka’s National Teqball Federation, the future in the country is bright and the future is Teq.