INSIDE TEQBALL: INDONESIAN TEQBALL FEDERATION

teqball indonesia

INSIDE TEQBALL – STORIES FROM THE TEQBALL WORLD –

Hellen Sarita de Lima is one of the most prominent sports leaders in Indonesia and she is now the driving force of the country’s teqball journey as Chair of the Indonesian Teqball Central Board (PP InaTeq). The former Secretary General of the Indonesian Olympic Committee brings a wealth of experience from an illustrious career in sports management and FITEQ is delighted with the passion she has shown for teqball.

Reflecting on her first encounter with the sport, Sarita de Lima said, “I first came across teqball in 2018 during our preparations for the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang. I immediately thought that it had a big future in Indonesia as it was a combination of football and table tennis, which are both very popular here. As soon as people started hearing about teqball, they all wanted to try it!”

This positive reception encouraged her to begin developing the sport more formally. Her hard work over the past two years led to the establishment of the National Federation (PP InaTeq) in March this year, with the future for Indonesian teqball now looking very bright.  “My ambition is to develop the sport and help our athletes become champions,” said Sarita de Lima. “I also want to promote teqball across the country to help young people in our schools and universities be more active. It is an inclusive sport that can be played by everyone, so it can really make a difference for the students in our country.”

The activities that PP InaTeq has been able to organise this year have been restricted due to COVID-19. However, Sarita de Lima was determined not to let this halt the building momentum of the sport. “We are still learning about teqball and the support FITEQ is providing from an educational perspective has been really helpful. When FITEQ launched the Online Education Platform during lockdown, I was very happy as I could share this with the teqball community here in Indonesia and enable people to keep educating themselves despite the pandemic. This has led to coaches and referees beginning their official qualifications.”

As the world begins to emerge from lockdown, sport will be a key part of the world’s economic and social recovery from COVID-19. Sarita de Lima sees teqball having an important role in Indonesia as it adapts to a new normal, “We have clubs now practicing regularly again and we have the teqball competitions at the Sanya Asian Beach Games and Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) to look forward to next year. Sport is the perfect way to inspire younger generations and as youth-focused sport, teqball can be at the heart of this in Indonesia.”

As part of its effort to inspire the next generation of teqers, FITEQ launched an Asian Development Programme earlier this year. The programme is helping National Federations build awareness of the sport and supporting their preparations for the exciting competitions in the continent next year. Hungarian teqball star Bence Forgács recently travelled to Indonesia as part of the programme, running workshops for athletes and coaches. “The development programme is enabling us to take teqball to the next level in Indonesia,” said Sarita de Lima. “More people, especially young people, are playing the sport every day. We will soon receive 56 Teq Tables as part of the programme, which will be a massive boost to the sport’s growth here.”

Looking ahead to next year, PP InaTeq is hoping success at the Sanya Asian Beach Games can be a stimulus for further teqball development. “We’re hosting a National Challenger Series in December, which will serve as a qualifier for the major events next year. We’re still a young country in teqball terms, but a strong performance at the Sanya Asian Beach Games and the AIMAG can inspire more people to take up this wonderful sport.”

Hellen Sarita de Lima’s teqball journey is still at the beginning, but she already has great memories in the sport. “It’s been a fascinating few years and getting to know the FITEQ team and wider teqball family has been a great experience. When FITEQ was approved as a full GAISF member earlier this month, I was proud to be part of the sport. The sky is the limit for teqball and I cannot wait for the next year and beyond!”

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