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Akos Prikop sees a bright future for teqball in Canada

Akos Prikop sees a bright future for teqball in Canada

The efforts in Canada are part of a larger vision for teqball internationally.

YORKTON – Teqball is a relatively new sport, but Akos Prekop sees a bright future here in Canada.

Prikop first became aware of this new sport because of his own background.

“First of all, I was born in Hungary, where teqball comes from, so I was aware of it,” the president of the National Teqball Federation of Canada told the Yorkton newspaper this week.

Prikop, who has lived in Canada for the past 20 years, said he knew of a teqball federation that started in Canada several years ago, but it was fairly inactive.

So, during the Covid period, he made some inquiries to the international body.

“They were really looking for someone who would take over,” Prikop said, adding that he decided to take on the leadership role.

What Prikop discovered is that building a foundation for a new sport isn't always easy.

“It's a big challenge, a big challenge,” he said. “Canada is a huge country and I cannot be everywhere.”

At this point, teqpol are somewhat territorial in nature. Because it tends to rely on players with a soccer background and Ontario has the largest population of soccer players, teqball has taken hold there, Brekop demonstrated.

The numbers in Quebec are increasing, and the sport has been introduced in British Columbia as well.

Prekop wants to see other provinces participate, but notes that the drawback is that teqball requires a sport-specific table, so someone needs to invest in a table in every community interested in the sport.

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Prikop stressed that it is worth the cost and effort to start this sport.

“Once you start it you'll fall in love with it. It's really fun,” he said. “It's not easy, but it's challenging and fun.”

The efforts in Canada are part of a larger vision for teqball internationally.

The goal is to make the sport “recognized in every possible country in the world,” Prikop said. He added that with widespread interest around the world, it will contribute to achieving the second goal of IOC recognition of teqball.

In Canada, this process must include “officially” recognizing Teqpol.

“It's not recognized as a sport in Canada,” Prikop said, adding that they want that recognition through the national sports ministry.

To build toward national recognition, Prikop said the Canadian federation will host a series of teqball tournaments leading up to the naming of national champions in July who will represent Canada at the sport's next world championships.

Canada actually sent four players to the 2023 event in Bangkok, with Sarah Rees, Karen Brych, Robert Kirtish Jr. and Milan Zsiebuk named. This year there will be a tournament to determine the team.

Prikop explained that the first event will be held on March 16 in Toronto, and is also scheduled to be held in Montreal and Ottawa.

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