Mind over rattan | In a meld of meditation and footvolley, the Burmese excel

The Irrawaddy quotes the Scott selection, adding that nothing much has changed in Burma related to choices in recreation. “[G]roups of players can be seen in the back streets of Rangoon and dusty rural villages punting the wickerwork ball about for the fun of it.”

Hamilton pursues chinlone, seeking the spiritual benefit, rather than the volleyball-type scoring of sepak takraw. The latter has been a competitive sport at least since the 1965 Southeast Asian Games. Its promoters envision a promising future. At the website of the 15th Asian Games word comes of an “international offensive” to petition for inclusion in the Olympics. Its lure comes from the mesmerizing acrobatics—players executing bicycle kicks and landing back on their feet—and, organizers say, from the multiracial appeal across Asia.

Abdul Halim Bin Kader, secretary-general of the International Sepaktakraw Federation, sounds like the minds at FIFA. “We are also going to introduce a new ball, a new-generation ball, that will be an improvement on the 100 percent synthetic product currently in use, and this will be used for the first time in the first Asian Beach Games in 2008.”

UPDATE

Thailand Sepak Takraw Association president Chareuk Arirajkaran has been helping to drive the sport’s global reach, impressing upon others the game’s appeal on television. “[I]t is an event filled with motion,” he says. Arirajkaran has targeted Africa as a zone that he must persuade to help persuade Olympic organizers of the sport’s worth (Edward Thangarajah, “Sepak Takraw Looks for Recognition,” Bangkok Post, 4 Feb 07).

I plan to send them sepak takraw balls, nets, plus other equipment, along with videotapes to show them how to play sepak takraw. If they pick up the sport, then I am sure, it will spread like wildfire in the African continent. I have already spoken to some of their leaders.

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2 comments on this post.
  1. cultureofsoccer.com » Blog Archive » Soccer By Any Other Name?:

    [...] But soccer is not the only sport in which players use their feet in beautiful and incredibly skillful ways. Two other sports, Sepak Takraw and Kemari, take the skill of juggling to new heights. Recent posts on The Offside and The Global Game have discussed Separk Takraw, which is essentially soccer volleyball (don’t miss the video on The Offside site). [...]

  2. Sepak Takraw:

    We recently launched the new website for the UK Takraw Association. We also cover related games chinlone, football/soccer, cuju, circle takraw etc.

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