The International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ) seeks to gauge the NMI’s interest in teqball—a sport that combines the elements of football and table tennis and is played on a curved table.
Zita Klinger, FITEQ’s continental development manager for Asia & Oceania, visited Saipan last month during the 2022 Northern Pacific Mini Games and met with Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan to ask for NMSA’s assistance in the introduction of teqball to the NMI.
“We are keen for your support and your proposal on the best possible way to establish a teqball federation in your island,” Klinger said.
As part of its efforts in establishing federations across the globe, Klinger added that FITEQ has developed a couple of initiatives that will create sustainable and active federations. One of them is the National Federation Development Program, which provides financial assistance to each federation amounting to €6,000 ($6,100 plus) for one year. Under the same initiative, FITEQ will conduct courses to support the federation’s administrative and technical programs, while there will also be grants available for hosting events and competition. FITEQ will provide NFs equipment too, such as teqball tables and balls.
Klinger also mentioned FITEQ’s Club Development Program, which is open to schools, universities, and profit and non-profit organizations. Countries availing of this program will receive a container full of teqball tables (about 20) and will also have access to the sport’s online education platform.
To qualify for FITEQ’s Club Development Program, a federation must establish 15 clubs and each of them should have at least four athletes. Each club is also required to have a social media account to help spread the word about the sport not just in the NMI, but the rest of the world.
“We are excited to introduce teqball in the NMI. Teqball has enjoyed strong growth over the last few years as a result of increasing athlete participation, a growing competition calendar, an expanding fanbase and the ongoing development of strategic partnerships,” Klinger said.
She added that teqball is recognized by the Organization of Sport Federations of Oceania, Olympic Council of Asia, and Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, and received a “member status” from the Global Association of International Sport Federations, moving the sport a step toward recognition from the International Olympic Committee.
Teqball is also under consideration for the sports program lined up for the 2023 Micronesian Games that will be held in the Marshall Islands.
“We want to strengthen our presence in the Micronesian region that’s why we requested for teqball to be included in the Micronesian Games,” Klinger said.
Meanwhile, Tan thanked Klinger for reaching out and said that NMSA is open to further discussions about the sport and how it can be introduced to the community.