Teqball - New partnership between the MLGCA and local teqball federation |03 March 2023
A more active role in promoting and funding sports activities
As part of its new strategy to make sports inclusive of its programmes, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs has entered into a partnership with the Teqball Federation of Seychelles, providing support in disseminating one of the world’s fastest growing sports at community level.
As part of the agreement, all the community centres around the island and which are administered by the ministry will be equipped with a teqball table from the federation, while training programmes for instructors are also part of the promotion programme.
To officially launch the partnership, chairman of the Teqball Federation of Seychelles (TFS) Jeffrey Payet yesterday presented Minister for Local Government and Community Affairs Rose-Marie Hoareau with a teqball table during a small ceremony held at the Bel Air community centre.
The first phase of the agreement will feature five districts ‒ Bel Air, St Louis, Roche Caïman, Plaisance and Les Mamelles.
Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by principal secretary for local government and community affairs Kevin Perrine, member of the National Assembly (MNA) for the Bel Air district Norbert Loizeau, director general for community affairs Denise Clarisse, along with administrators of the five districts.
Accepting the donation and commenting on the agreement on behalf of the ministry, PS Perrine commended Mr Payet for the initiative, which he described as very pro-active and fits well into the ministry’s new strategic ways of doing things, especially when it comes to involving members of the communities, allowing them to take ownership of their districts.
It is also part of the government’s vision, through the National Sports council (NSC), to allow the public to take ownership of sporting programmes in their own communities, and as a result there will be a significant boost to the overall health and wellbeing of the Seychellois communities in general.
He said the ministry always welcomes such initiatives and is welcoming other people with ideas, plans and proposals to come forward and make a difference within their respective communities.
PS Perrine further explained that activities, especially sports at community level, is the stepping stone for further development, which eventually progress to national and international level.
He noted that most athletes who achieved great results, both at local and international level started at community level, where potential talents are detected, before evolving to higher level.
He also noted that they will work in conjunction with other ministries and departments to ensure maximum gain at all age groups, while the new features will also add values to the community centres.
Before handing over the first teqball table to Minister Hoareau, Mr Payet said the timing is perfect, as it is post-Covid whereby sports activities are being rejuvenated across the country.
He urged the youth to use the facilities properly for their health, as well as personal development.
Mr Payet also commended PS Perrine and his team for promptly accepting and reacting to his proposal which he said, if used well, will not only minimise the influence of social ills such as drugs, but will also be another boost towards the quest of the much-awaited Olympic medal since negotiations are already in place for the sport to be included at the 2028 Olympics Games in Los Angeles, United States, or the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad as it is more commonly known.
Teqball was briefly introduced in Seychelles by Mr Payet shortly after the lifting of health restrictions, but lack of commitment on the part of those who agreed to disseminate the discipline slowed down its progress.
Seeing potential in the sport, Mr Payet decided to look for new avenues to promote it, and it was during that venture that he knocked on PS Perrine’s door, while the latter instantly accepted and endorsed the idea.
Teqball is a football-based sport, played on a specially-curved table (the Teq table) and is attracting a new generation of athletes and amateur enthusiasts (Teqers), whose ambition is to develop their technical skills, concentration and stamina.
The sport, which was created in Hungary in 2012 is a truly gender-equitable game, as the rules define that teqball shall be played between two (singles) or four players (doubles), irrespective of gender.
It follows a points-based scoring format and can be played on various surfaces such as sand, acrylic or indoors.
Teqball allows players a maximum of three touches before returning the ball to the opponent, so if you can juggle a football three times, you will excel at teqball as well.
It is the purest use of a football, with the rule of no physical contact allowed between the players, or between the players and the table, helping eliminate the risk of impact injuries.
Once again, Mr Payet thanked Nundkishor Fakund, his Mauritian friend, mentor and sports promoter, to introduce him to this new sport, which is considered the fastest growing sport in the world.
He also thanked Reka Reichard, the focal person responsible for the development in the region for making it possible and for organising the smooth delivery of the equipment, which is worth a significant amount especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Payet also noted that the project has been set up entirely as a private initiative without any funding from the government.
This, he said, is in line with the new government’s policy to remove sports under the state wings and allow the private sector to play a more active role in promoting and funding sports activities.