Interview: Korean Teqball Association

Interview: Korean Teqball Association

INSIDE TEQBALL- STORIES FROM THE TEQBALL WORLD

Korean Teqball Association President Yoo Song-geun is leading South Korea’s development of the world’s fastest growing sport. President Yoo has been passionate about sport from a young age and was an international level judoka. During the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, he then served as the coach of the national team and contributed to the gold medal of Ha Hyung-joo. With his attention now firmly on helping South Korea become one of the world’s leading teqball nations, President Yu tells us more about his plans for the future.

How did you get to know about teqball? 

An American teqball-related executive visited Pastor Sogang Kang of the New Eden Church in Bundang to discuss developing teqball in South Korea. The pastor recommended speaking to me as an elder. I then sent a document containing my background experience to the International Federation of Teqball and sent a letter of appointment to the Korean President. The Korean Teqball Association was then formed and we have since participated in international competitions!

What is the attraction of teqball?

Firstly, it is the universality of the sport. Teqball is independent of weather and location, compared to table tennis, for example, which is light and therefore difficult to enjoy outdoors in the wind. Football also requires a much larger space and can be influenced by snow and rain. You can fold the table when not in use and unfold it in any space. You can even do it on the beach! In fact, we are looking forward to teqball’s debut as a medal sport on the Asian Beach Games in Sanya, China, in December.

The Teq table is very flexible and many other games can be played on it. So you can play teqvolley, teqis, qatch and many more! Teqball is a truly accessible sport and it is great to see the rise of para-teqball as well. It may have started as a family sport, but we believe it can expand into an elite sport that is played at the Olympic Games!

What is the level of Korean teqball?

Football players Lee Tae-bin and Lee Jun-seok participated in the Xiamen Challenger Cup in China in January this year, finishing third in both singles and doubles. This made Korea the best performing Asian country in the tournament. There aren't yet many other players in the country who have powerful serves and spikes with great power like Lee Tae-bin and Lee Jun-seok!

How widely has teqball spread in South Korea?

It is popular among young people and families in Korea. There are tables at the Seoul National University, Korea National University, Yongin University and Kyungdong University, where club activities allow people to engage in the sport. Teqball can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors in a small space, and more and more people are playing the sport. The next step is for us to formalise a national team and participate in more international competitions.

Are teqball tables produced in South Korea?

Currently, Teq tables are imported from Hungary. It is imported and distributed in full by Dao Korea (CEO Young-Chun Jeon), a manufacturer and distributor of sports goods.

How do you plan to grow the sport further?

There are many classrooms in South Korea due to a decrease in the number of students, and there are many gyms in each school. I would like to install a table here so that children who grow up can enjoy sports with confidence. Also, I want to spread it to military bases, police stations, fire stations, and prisons across the country, so that I can people exercise in a small space. In particular, it is planned to be supplied to the navy. I have heard a story that the soldiers who fought on battleships in the past tied string to footballs to stop the ball falling into the sea!

Are there any joint teqball initiatives with North Korea?

I sent 10 Teq tables to North Korea through the South-North Korea Sports Exchange Association (Chairman Kyung-Sung Kim). I hope the day will come when a unified Korean team will compete in an international competition because teqball is rapidly growing in North Korea now too. It would be truly amazing to see a unified Korean team (both male and female) win a teqball gold medal in the Olympic Games.

Thank you for the interview and good luck with all your endeavours with teqball!

22 May 2020