New tournament for Sepak Takraw

Image: Paavan Chouhan

Sepak Takraw is South-East Asian derived sport that can be most likened to foot-volleyball. Yes, that’s right, foot-volleyball. The sport consists of a team of 3 players stood either side of a net on badminton sized court. The team has up to 3 touches between them to use anything apart from their arms and hands to return the ball over the net without letting the ball touch the floor. The players must quickly decide how they wish to use their 3 touches as they receive the ball, whether that be setting up a team mate or knocking a quick return straight back over the net.

Every week we undertake a variety of training drills working on our ball control and team play. It takes a while to get used to the Sepak Takraw ball which is springier, harder and smaller than most people anticipate at first glance. The players play in different teams every week; this encourages them to use different styles of play to defeat the opposing team; depending on the stature and playing technique of each of the individuals. We aim to ensure the players have the ability to rely on a range of different touches and techniques to both set up their fellow team-mates and return the ball over the net.

Players train for weeks so that they can battle it out for the ultimate prize- free food

Last Sunday Sepak Takraw hosted its first ever monthly tournament. Players train for weeks so that they can battle it out for the ultimate prize- free food. The monthly tournaments were introduced to add an extra element of competition amongst the players; especially with the lack of teams from other universities. We hope that by hosting these events it will prepare the players for the Ultimate Tournament, held at the end of the year where we invite and compete against other adult Takraw teams from within Newcastle where a much bigger prize is at stake. We are also in the process of organising fixtures against Manchester University and Dublin University which would mark great progress for our club having only been established two years ago with a relatively small following. By preparing for and hosting these monthly tournaments we hope to raise the level of performance of our players as well as improve the social aspect of our club.

As Sepak Takraw is a relatively obscure, up and coming sport, many of our members have had no experience prior to joining this year. It is incredible how quickly they have been able to pick up the rules and the technique of the sport. It should be mentioned that the winning team of our first monthly tournament consisted of two new members, Tom Fisher and Ophelia Lightowler who joined the club through the University’s Give It a Go scheme. They have shown a great example and their victory just goes to show the success that can be had if you put yourself out there and try out a new sport! Similarly, we hope that Ophelia’s success can encourage other girls to try it out and dispel any questions that Sepak Takraw is a men’s sport.

We always welcome new members and hope that our club can become bigger and better.

If you have any questions or want more information, please email p.chouhan1@newcaslte.ac.uk or visit our Facebook page – Newcastle University Sepak Takraw.

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