YORKTON - When it comes to athletic endeavour humankind has a near limitless ability to create competitive sports.
In fact, there are ‘new’ sports popping up all the time, and the vast majority might earn a few ardent supporters, but never gain widespread interest and play.
There are a few though which emerge and seem – in time – to grow in popularity and wider acceptance.
One of those sports – I might suggest – in Teqball.
Not yet familiar with Teqball? Well that is not too surprising. It is still what I might term an emerging sport.
So to Wikipedia for a quick definition; “Teqball is a ball sport that is played on a curved table, combining elements of sepak takraw and table tennis. Back and forth, the players hit a football (soccer ball for most of us) with any part of the body except arms and hands.”
Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.
The game is represented at an international level by the International Teqball Federation.
The sport was added to the programmes for the 2021 Asian Beach Games and the 2023 European Games, the sport is now aiming for Olympic inclusion – which to be fair is the dream of every sport on the planet.
Having watched a few matches online I was impressed by the foot skills, and in the pace of play which is such one can follow the play more easily than table tennis for example which I want to like but the speed detracts as a viewer.
But, back to Teqball, I wanted to know more so thanks to social media I made contact with Adrian Duszak, who recently won the men’s world championship in the sport. He was good enough to answer a few questions via email.
The recent win for Duszak, who hails from near Warsaw, Poland, was a gratifying one. Not only was it his first championship, he captured the title defeating the defending world champion who had beat Duszak out in 2022.
Duszak, 28, said he wasn’t exactly sure what was different with the 2023 final that he won.
“I don't know . . . both me and my opponent Apor (Gyorgydeak of Romania) were perfectly prepared,” said Duszak. “Sometimes it's the little details that make the difference at the highest level; disposition of the day, a momentary distraction and we may lose a series of points.”
But Duszak did relish the win.
“This is the best feeling in the world – really,” he said. "I always dreamed of becoming World Champion. during the championship in Bangkok, the dream came true.
“I stood on the podium five times, but never won, until December last year.”
Teqball doesn’t have the profile of sports like tennis or soccer, so one wondered what Duszak thought the championship would mean as he moves forward?
“Teqball is such a young sport that it is difficult to say where this sport will be in five-10-15 years. I hope and will do everything to make this title make my life easier,” said Duszak.
The sport is new and for Duszak something he has really just begun to play.
“My adventure with this beautiful sport began in June 2017,” he said. “My dear friend - Konrad Nowicki told me about this sport, I found out that the World Championships would be held in two weeks - I agreed. I finally finished fifth in singles category.
“Before that, I trained football (soccer), table tennis, basic acrobatics, and trained freestyle football for several years.”
Duszak said most Teqball players gravitate from other sports.
“In my opinion most players come from sports like Futnet, Footvolley, Football,” he said.
So what is it about Teqball for Duszak?
“What I like most about Teqball is that it is a non-contact, dynamic, unpredictable sport that requires great technique,” he said.
And he is seeing the sport grow as he himself has climbed the ranks to be champion.
“This is my seventh year in Teqball. The competition is definitely stronger from tournament-to-tournament. I'm also happy that new players appear every year,” said Duszak.