Sepak-takraw National Championship on April 3 | Daily News

Sepak-takraw National Championship on April 3

Action from a sepaktakraw game
Action from a sepaktakraw game

The Sepak-takraw National Championship organised by the Amateur Sepaktakraw Association of Sri Lanka will be held on April 3 at the Colombo Malay Cricket Grounds.

The event is sponsored by ExTea, and the winner will receive the Faizal Khan Memorial Trophy 2021.

Sepak-takraw is an acrobatic and high-endurance sport which has taken wing to reach its true potential in Sri Lanka, the origin of which can be traced back to the 11th century.

Sepaktakraw was under the umbrella of an individual for over 33 years, until a new committee headed by a young dynamic President Chareendra de Silva took over and established new benchmarks in line with their future goals.

The new committee is determined to reach its goal of being number one at South Asian level first within their tenure of four years, and be a strong contender in the world ranking by 2025. Although sepak-takraw has not been among the ‘A’ list of games in the country in popularity and development, the newly appointed governing committee has expanded its membership and number of participating teams year on year over the past two tournaments, spreading from Western, North Western, Eastern and Central Provinces.

It is a sport native to the Southeast Asian region, and fast gaining popularity worldwide. The game is also known as kick-volleyball in the western world, as the grapefruit-sized synthetic fibre ball is mainly controlled by the feet.

It displays a combination martial arts, football, gymnastics and volleyball. Smashes or kills (attack kick) are performed while airborne in acrobatic style.

President Chareendra de Silva stated: “We are working on a structured plan, with both long-term and short-term goals, under the supervision of many ex-players who were away from the game due to bureaucracy of the previous administration, and have now rejoined us to revive the game.”

“India, our neighbour and closest super power in sepak-takraw, has also extended their support to assist in rebuilding the game.”

He also stated: “Short-term plan is to develop a squad with youth and experiences, whilst been competitive at the international level and to give exposure to the newly found youth.”

“Our goal is to present a skilled set of individuals for future events and develop a team, which can hold up till our long-term plans are executed.”

“We have been blessed by the support extended by the International Sepak-takraw Federation and Asian Sepak-takraw Federation, who have agreed to provide coaching and materials to promote the sport in Sri Lanka.” (D.R)