FITEQ General Secretary Marius Vizer Jr and Head of CSR & Diplomatic Relations Gergely Murányi
(ATR) As one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, teqball is promoting social responsibility while expanding its reach to new players.
This week the International Teqball Federation (FITEQ) is launching a global program called the Table of Peace to support communities in post-conflict and disadvantaged areas.
Djibouti is the first stop on a “Teqball Roadshow” that will provide sporting opportunities in more than 30 countries across five continents with the aim of inspiring future generations.
FITEQ and the Djibouti Teqball Federation, in collaboration with the Djibouti National Olympic Committee and its President, IOC member Aïcha Garad Ali, will donate teqball tables to all three refugee camps in the country.
“We are only at the beginning of the teqball journey but we have already seen how powerful sport can be in society,” said Gergely Murányi, FITEQ Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diplomatic Relations.
Marius Vizer Jr with IOC Member Ms Aicha Garad Ali (FITEQ)
“That is why we are launching the Table of Peace program this week in Djibouti. Our passion for using sport to make a real difference to peoples’ lives is what drives us forward every day.”
Created in Hungary in 2012, teqball aspires to join the Olympic program. Thefootball (soccer)-based sport is played on a specially-curved table on surfaces including sand, acrylic or indoors, It is now practiced by an estimated 2,000 athletes in more than 100 countries across five continents.
The Teqball Roadshow will provide support to recognized, as well as prospective, national teqball federations in key areas such as education, governance, sustainability, CSR, competitions and club development. There are already 97 established national federations and world championships have been played in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
FITEQ believes that sport is one of the best -- if not the best -- tools of diplomacy, and is striving to have a wider social impact amid its rapid growth. Not only has athlete participation increased, but the popularity of thesport has attracted a fanbase and spurred the development of strategic partnerships.
Athletes, called Teqers, are allowed a maximum of three touches before returning the ball (size five balls used in football/soccer) to the opponent. The non-contact sport is gender equitable, with games played between two singles players or four doubles players irrespective of gender. A match consists of best-of-three sets and each set is played until a player or team reaches 12 points.
Last November, FITEQ became a full member of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and it is recognised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Organisation of Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO). FITEQ also is a member of The Association For International Sport forAll (TAFISA) and is a partner of the International Testing Agency (ITA) and a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.
FITEQ began implementing sustainability initiatives in 2017 and since then have gone hand-in-hand with sports-related activity. One prime example is the partnership with Peace and Sport in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
FITEQ is developing a Sustainability Handbook, which will be shared with national federations in the coming months. The handbook will serve as a guide to help the federations be proactive in making a contribution to societywhile implementing their own programs without the need for major investment.
“CSR and sustainability are at the heart of everything we do at FITEQ,” said Murányi.
Teqball demonstration in Djibouti refugee camp
“We understand that we must be a leader for all stakeholders within the teqball family and we do not take this responsibility lightly. We have developed a long-term strategy for CSR and sustainability programs and our new Sustainability Handbook will be a key vehicle for implementing this strategy. Our aim is to integrate a philosophy of sustainable development into all FITEQ activities, through our National Federations, events and competitions, and to establish and promote sound environmental practice in our operations.”
According to FITEQ, key goals for national federations to achieve are: good health and wellbeing; gender equality; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; climate action; peace, justice and strong institutions;and partnerships for the goals.
Last year, FITEQ joined the UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action initiative as asignatory to the Sports for Climate Action Framework.
FITEQ also has a strong relationship with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as NGOs and governments around the world that help connect the international federation with disadvantaged communities.
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