Takraw tourney returns to Newcastle

Worthy winners: Ruzaidi Bin Ismail collects the rtophy off John Haswell.
Image: James SprostonWorthy winners: Ruzaidi Bin Ismail collects the rtophy off John Haswell. Image: James Sproston

The Newcastle University Sepak Takraw Club are once again hosting their tournament in the sports centre as it returns for a second year.

After the resounding success of last year’s event, club president Niall Nagar had made plans to repeat the tournament, as he recently announced that the competition would take place on the 13th and 14th of May.

Over the two days, teams from Newcastle will compete against each other and against touring sides to take home the coveted copper teapot.

The teams are made up of three players on court, often with a substitute to play when needed. Each player has a role, either a tekong (server), feeder (playmaker) or killer (spiker).

Just like in volleyball, between the team they can take up to three touches to get the ball over the net. However, the rules of takraw allow for any one player to be able to take as many of those three touches as they want.

“It’s this inclusivity that club president Niall Nagar would like to maintain this year”

In the Sepak Takraw Club’s tournament, they offer both doubles regu and traditional regu, which are two and three-a-side respectively. Both formats require players to have a quality first touch, but the doubles regu involves a lot more running.

Last year Ruzaidi Bin Ismail took two gold medals, spearheading the Balai Malaysia B team in the traditional regu, and being one half of the London Durham partnership that won the doubles regu.

Bin Ismail was one of many players who came as members of touring teams to the tournament, however Newcastle students took some silverware as well.

Newcastle University’s A and B teams took bronze and silver respectively in the traditional regu, and similarly impressed in the doubles regu.

Moreover, several other teams comprised of Newcastle students entered the competition. They included local heroes The Dreamers and 5-a-side legends Berocca Juniors, but neither side made it out of the group.

“Teams from Newcastle will compete against each other and against touring sides to take home the coveted copper teapot”

Pak Men, made up of Newcastle students that weren’t part of the club, were inches away from making it to the semi-finals, and it’s this inclusivity that club president Niall Nagar would like to maintain this year.

“Though we would always encourage participants to join the club, we’re more than open to new players trying the sport out on the big stage” Niall told the Courier. “Hopefully they’ll fall in love with the game and become a part of the setup here at Newcastle next year.”

With sepak takraw gaining global recognition, Niall wants to make sure that the sport remains available at Newcastle. “We want to make sure that students at Newcastle continue to have the opportunity to try out takraw. It’s a unique sport that people fall in love with instantly.”

years that the tourney has been running

Having opened applications recently for the tournament, anyone interested can find the event on the club’s page on facebook. It promises to be spectacular.    

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