By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The outbreak of the novel corona virus also referred to as COVID-19 has hampered the growth of Teqball in Nigeria, no doubt.
Like every other sporting activity such as European Leagues, African and Nigerian leagues as well as the postponement of 2020 Olympics till 2021, Teqball in Nigeria and globally also had its own share of the adverse effect of the virus in the country and the world at large.
Undoubtedly, Teqball is a new sport in Nigeria and the stoppage of all sporting activities in the country in March, affected the plans and programmes the administrators of the sport had this year.
Speaking with Nigeria Teqball Federation (NIGTEQ) Media Department, Rivers State Teqball Association Chairman, Chukwuemeka Agi said the outbreak of COVID-19 slowed down their programmes for the year.
“It (COVID-19) has slowed it down. Actually, you can imagine something that has not fully started and then we have to delay to ensure that people understands and observe the health protocols like social distancing and hygienic living.”
“It has delayed us by a few months but I think that we can catch up. Right now, with the schools not being in session for the young ones, we can’t involve them in any of our activities.”
“Like any other sport or any human endeavour, for the past 5-6 months, everything has virtually changed completely, so, it has affected us.”
“We’ve had the table and the equipment since December, when we finished the training, but not long after, the Covid-19 threat and of course the country was shut down,” he explained.
Is the Rivers State Teqball Association giving up on its programmes for the year?
Dr Agi was emphatic in his response, “no, never, as I said, the virus delayed us but never stopped us. We were able to do one little demonstration in January. Last week we had another demonstration and we ensured that we got various football coaches in the field.”
“About 10 football coaches were there and then we got young people who have been playing football recreationally to get involved in this very one.”
“The hope we have of building awareness is through the coaches we have got on board right now and when the schools re-open dully, we will be going to schools to tell them what the game is all about, tell them how they can get involved, with that, they can develop themselves.”
He identified one major challenge facing the development of Teqball in the country to lack of adequate Teqball tables which he quite expensive.
“One of the limitations for us for now is that we have only one Teqball table in the state. Our hope is to use the table and take it from school to school. That way, we will introduce it to young people.
“A Teqball table cost between $1,000 to $3,000 excluding shipping for different tables designs and it is obvious the table is very expensive.”
The Nigeria Teqball Federation is expecting the delivery of 56 tables which will be distributed for the already established 21 State Associations across the country. The tables will facilitate the development of the sport in the country ahead of the forthcoming 2020 Challenger Cup scheduled for October.