New sport enters Nigeria

New sport enters Nigeria

Teqball in Africa

Like Abraham’s wife: Sarah, I laughed… in my case, I laughed at the thought of “What would happen if 12th-century sports like Tennis and Football had a baby. Or why no one has started a shwarma place called “Swaddle” or “Swaddled Shwarma” or… (you get the picture!) These are some of the profoundly-philosophical-thoughts I get to have alone at night! Luckily for us, we have the answer to the Tennis-meets-Football scenario. The resulting child is now a bouncing and healthy, 6-year-old child. This relatively new sport is called: Teqball. And yes! Teqball is in Africa and the rest of the world. Why did I put this sport under my “health” category? Because Visually African has no sports section and anything that makes you jump as Teqball does, must be not only fun… but kinda healthy ‘ey.

Whether you have heard of Teqball or not, it seems to be here to stay. This toddler of a sport is healthy and invading new territories, even here in Africa. Teqball was invented (Started? Or… kicked off? Noooo? Too punny?) kicked-off in Hungary by three football enthusiasts: Gábor Borsányi, Gyuri Gattyán, and Viktor Huszár. A former football player, a Hungarian businessman, and a computer scientist. Respectively. Let’s jump back to Nigeria! One of the pioneers of irresistible jollof rice!

Alhaji Adam Mouktar Mohammed, who is the vice-president of the Nigeria Teqball Federation told The Daily Trust that, “The sport is spreading fast in [Nigeria] because Nigerians like fun and any new sport that is entertaining – it’s easy to set-up and play the sport with a table.” Now that Teqball is here in Africa, you’re wondering: just how fun is it? Watch football superstar: Neymar, as he breaks the table while playing with a professional, female teqballer (Natalia Guitler). In this video, Neymar is seen breaking more than a few Teqball rules. Rules that would have saved the table from breaking, but more on that later.

Part of making a new sport involves getting the rules to be understood and observed. Are you now ready for a video explaining the rules around Teqball? I for one was shocked at the complexities of Teqball’s official rules. Why are they soooo many! For what seems to be a fairly straight forward sport? Ok – I won’t rant. Here are the rules:

When I was growing up, it took me a while to realise that football teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool do not have female players in them. Back in the crazy nineties, you had a few international players with super long hair that (from a distant camera) appeared female to my innocent, Zimbabwean eyes. I thought anyone good enough could play in the premier league. I know. Crazy and unthinkable… right! A bit like Teqball in Africa, and yet here we are. Now, guess what!

Teqball allows mixing genders. I hope the Nigerian Teqball Federation and other African Teqball bodies will work at capitalising on that. It’s not every day that both sportsmen and sportswomen get to share the big arenas and glory. Usually, female athletes of any kind get to be packed away in their own smaller (less funded) corner of the sporting world. Where you get a “female version” of Arsenal, and a lesser funded “female version” of Liverpool… etcetera, etcetera. In conclusion, I just hope that Teqball’s fancy/ curved table, is not too much of a barrier for most developing countries. Please! Leave some of your thoughts and arguments in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you’ll enjoy this last video!

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