The newly-established Cambodia Teqball Federation (CTF) is running coaching and refereeing clinic in preparation for the 32nd SEA Games, which the Kingdom will host in May.

The fast-growing sport is an amalgam of table tennis and football. Played on a curved table, the ball can be returned with any part of the body, excluding the hands or arms. It was added to the 2023 European Games, and is now seeking Olympic admission.

The workshop, running from March 20 to 22, is held at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC).

Twenty trainees attended the course, most of them referees from the Football Federation of Cambodia or the Cambodia Sepaktakraw and Chinlone Federation. They have joined the CTF to umpire teqball at the SEA Games.

“Everyone here is an important member of the federation. Teqball was just introduced as a demonstration event at the games, so we need to work hard to learn as much as we can – as quickly as possible,” said CTF vice-president Gao Feng.

He urged all of the attendees to pay close attention to the presenter, an official from the International Teqball Federation.

“We are all making the best of this opportunity. This course is invaluable – I believe that. I also believe that the teqball representatives from Team Cambodia will be competitive at the games,” he said.

CTF deputy secretary-general On Chantra Samreth added that the course was presented by Marton Kereszturt from Hungary, the birthplace of the sport.

“Kereszturt assured us that he would share as much of the rules and history of the sport as he could,” he said.

“This course was intended to help us prepare for the games. Thanks to what we have learned so far, we are confident that we do an excellent job,” he went on.

As teqball is only a demonstration sport, medals will not be awarded to the winners at this year’s games, although it will be included as a full-fledged event at the 2025 games.

“Teqball is as competitive as any other sport. Despite the fact that medals will not be awarded, our athletes have strong hearts and a real desire to prove their abilities,” said Samreth.