When the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) General Assembly approved the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ)’s application for full membership on November 10, naturally I was filled with a mixture of emotions.
My first instinct was to feel a sense of relief, which quickly turned to a feeling of gratitude for the GAISF family’s support for teqball.
However, at FITEQ we are not the type to celebrate our successes for too long and I was soon focused on the realisation that this was the opening of a new chapter in the teqball story.
As we look ahead, we cannot ignore that the sports industry is still facing significant challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, which in my view has been the single biggest influence on the sports industry this millennium.
That being said, the sports family has shown resilience and tenacity this year, giving me confidence that, as a united family, we will overcome this difficult period.
As sport continues its road to recovery, next year promises to be our most exciting to date. Our goal of giving our athletes the platform to excel on the global stage will be realised at the Sanya Asian Beach Games in April, where teqball is making its debut as a medal sport.
We will then have the chance to once again showcase our youth-focused, dynamic and inclusive sport to the whole of Asia when teqball features as a demonstration sport at the 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand.
These two major events are an opportunity for teqball to demonstrate its value to multisport games organisers, particularly the ability to attract the eyes of our more than three million social media followers.
Our overarching focus, however, remains the daily effort to welcome new players and fans to the teqball family. To do this, we must continue to offer our unwavering support to our existing, as well as new, National Federations.
As in all sports, they are the beating heart of teqball and through our National Federation and Club Development programmes, FITEQ will continue to invest in the future of our sport by giving them the tools to succeed.
There is still a long way to go but GAISF full membership gives us an important, additional layer of credibility and further impetus on our journey of taking teqball around the world. As we look to engage with more National Olympic Committees and Ministries of Sport to help take our sport to the next level, the guidance of GAISF will be invaluable.
Currently we have 82 National Federations, 53 of which are recognised by their NOC or Sports Ministry. This is a sign of the global nature of teqball’s growth, but this is also only the beginning of our story.
When we host our World Championships next year, we want close to 100 countries participating. We’re ambitious but we’re ambitious for a reason. In a year of uncertainty, postponements and ongoing challenges, the teqball family can still reflect on 2020 as one of significant progress and we have every reason to believe we can make 2021 even better.
This year, we have had the chance to work with some truly inspiring organisations. From the support of our regional partners like the Olympic Council of Asia, Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and the Organisation of Sports Federations of Oceania, to partnering with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on sport’s critical role in the climate change effort, all the way to working with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Testing Agency to develop robust anti-doping policies, we have an abundance of positive stories to tell.
However, as GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli told us this week, building on our GAISF full membership is where the hard and responsible work really starts! FITEQ is honoured to be recognised as a GAISF member and we are deeply grateful to the whole sports family for welcoming teqball with open arms.
But we are under no illusions that our journey is complete. In fact, our journey is just beginning. This is the start of a new chapter and we cannot wait to tell the world the teqball story.