By Dinesh Krishna N (BE Mech, 2014-2018)

Sepak Takraw. A term most of us would have heard for the first time only after coming to PSG Tech. For those who haven’t, Sepak Takraw or ‘kick volleyball’ is a sport native to Southeast Asia. Sepak Takraw bears a resemblance to volleyball, but it is uniquely known for only allowing players to use their feet, knee, head and chest to touch the ball. The ball is either made of rattan or is synthetic.

A member of PSG Tech team in action
A member of PSG Tech team in action

The term ‘Sepak Takraw’ is part Malay and part Thai. ‘Sepak’ meaning ‘to kick’ and ‘Takraw’ meaning ‘Ball’. Sepak Takraw is the officially recognized name of the sport, but its name varies from country to country. In Malaysia it is called ‘Sepak Raga’, in Philippines ‘Sipa’, in Burma ‘Ching Loong’, and in Thailand just ‘Takraw’ and so on.

Sepak Takraw is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia in the 15th century. It was included in the Asian games in 1990. The Sepak Takraw community is still attempting to acquire an Olympic status for this much loved sport, but their requests have been falling on deaf ears.

Chennai player setting up a smash
Chennai player setting up a smash

Sepak Takraw has been popular at PSG Tech for quite a few years now. The credit goes to Mr. Balaji Seetharaman, an alumnus of our college, who introduced the sport in our college when he was pursuing his B.E Electronics and Communications Engineering. He has played this sport for more than 13 years now and went on to represent India as the captain, thrice.

PSG Tech vs PSG Tech Alumni - a high spirited clash
PSG Tech vs PSG Tech Alumni – a high spirited clash

The 11th Interstate Sepak Takraw Tournament for the PSG Tech Trophy took place at PSG Tech Takraw courts on 11, 12 and 13th March 2016. The slogan for the tournament “Practice like you’ve never won, Perform like you’ve never lost” perfectly suited the atmosphere of the Takraw courts during the matches. There were 14 teams competing in the three categories: Doubles, Regu, and team. There were two divisions: Championship and Premier Divisions. As the name suggests, two players from each team took to the courts in Doubles, whereas three players from each team played in the Regu events, and the team events consisted of three Regu matches per team.

Jayendra School kids putting up a good show
Jayendra School kids putting up a good show

PSG Tech Alumni team sponsors the trophies and refreshments every year, showing their passion for the game and their eagerness to promote the game amongst their juniors. Mr. Balaji Seetharaman helped form the Tech Alumni Club for Takraw (TACT). They have been promoting the sport in various schools and colleges, by conducting demo matches. There was a demo match organized for the PSG Saravajana Hr. Sec. School students by the Tirunelveli Jayendra School, on Sunday. It was a wonderful sight watching the team from Jayendra School taking on the adult teams in the tournament, showcasing their spirit and early endeavors into this sport.

The three days were filled with jaw – dropping acts of athleticism and acrobatics, which makes this sport more unique and awe-inspiring. This tournament is conducted every year by the PSG Tech Takraw club for teams across the state. There were teams from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala too. The tournament was inaugurated by our Physical Director, Mr. S. Somasundaramoorthy and TACT founder Balaji Seetharaman. The first match was played by Tirunelveli and PSG Tech Alumni, with Tirunelveli reaching victory.

A show of mid-air acrobatism from the players
A show of mid-air acrobatism from the players

The finals for all the categories took place on Sunday, which showcased the best of all the teams. The stakes were high, and so was the passion and determination of the players. In the Doubles Championship division, PSG Tech Alumni won the trophy, playing against PSG iTech. In the Doubles Premier division, Chennai took home the trophy winning against PSG Tech. The team event winners were Tirunelveli Alumni team and PSG Tech finished as the runners-up. The Tirunelveli Alumni team also bagged the trophy for the Regu event, with Chennai finishing second.

Victory celebrations of the PSG Tech Alumni team
Victory celebrations of the PSG Tech Alumni team

The chief guest for the valedictory function was Mr. R. Ravi, the Head Master of PSG Sarvajana Hr. Sec. School. The Welcome address was delivered by Physical Director, Mr. S. Somasundaramoorthy. The trophies were awarded to the finalists by the chief guest, in a ceremony near the Takraw courts.

PSG Tech player defends a kick from Chennai team
PSG Tech player defends a kick from Chennai team

The tournament had a fitting conclusion, with an inspiring show from the Alumni team and excellent performances from the PSG Tech team, reaching the finals of two events for the first time in the 11 years of the tournament. The talent and enthusiasm exhibited by the other teams will only encourage more students to take up Sepak Takraw and the future of the sport in our premises has never shown more promise.

DineshDinesh Krishna N (B.E. Mechanical 2014-2018) is a sports enthusiast, movie buff, and tries to be a perfectionist. He loves photography, superhero movies, automobiles and music and is amazed by the unsolved questions of the universe.

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