Pakistan women’s team will participate in the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2011 in Thailand that starts from September 8.
Sepak Takraw is a sport similar to volleyball but where feet are used instead of hands. The Southeast Asian countries have a rich history in this sport - it was played by the royals in Malaysia - and it has been established as a modern sport since the 1940s.
Although the sport has been recognised internationally by US, Canada, Brazil, England, France and Australia along with 40 other nations, it is still growing in Pakistan who will be seeded 12th for the tournament.
While the Pakistan Sepak Takraw Federation (PSTF) has high hopes for the team, they do not have sufficient funds to send the team to Thailand. As a result, the players are required to finance themselves.
“We’re providing a platform as the federation is recognised by ISTAF but that is all we can do,” PSTF member and coach Aun Abbas told The Express Tribune. “We’ve told the players to bear their own expenses because we don’t have the money.
“It is a hard choice: we have to choose players who have the talent and also the means to participate in international events. It’s an extremely challenging sport and we need strong athletes, which is why finding a competitive player is always difficult.”
Meanwhile, Nayab, a netball, basketball and athletics champion for Sindh for the past eight years, has impressed the PSTF selectors but she does not have Rs 65, 000 to participate in the tournament.
“It’s frustrating because I ‘ve the talent but no money,” she said. “I ‘ve been going to companies with sponsor requests but they refuse and the federation doesn’t have the money.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2011.
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