SINGAPORE: Organised by the Tchoukball Association of Singapore (TBAS), the country is set to play host to the inaugural Asia Pacific Schools Championships in 2025. The competition, which has seen interest from teams such as Macau, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, aims to increase the standard of the sport in the region among the student-athletes.

With the endorsement of the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation, the Asia Pacific Schools Championships will serve as a vital platform for nurturing future national athletes and elevating the standard of the sport within the region. The competition will feature male and female teams engaging in a round-robin format, followed by a knockout stage, in the under-17 and under-12 categories. There will be 28 teams, with two teams in each category, and Singapore will send four teams in each age group.

“Malaysia is pleased that our neighbouring country, Singapore, will host the first Asia Pacific Schools Tchoukball Championship in 2025. We’re committed to backing this event and sending our top school teams to compete in the region. Through APSC, countries like ours can introduce the sport to more schools, giving them the opportunity to proudly represent their nation. Additionally, Malaysia is adopting Singapore’s approach to promoting Tchoukball within schools and at the grassroots level,” shared Lee Fui Shin, President, Malaysia Tchoukball Association.

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The inception of the APSC marks one of the initial actions taken by TBAS’ newly elected executive board. This board was elected following TBAS’ annual general meeting on Aug 25, when the incumbent president, Delane Lim, was re-elected unopposed.

Lim added that initiatives like the APSC signal the new board’s intent to grow the sport at the grassroots level, particularly within the school system. This will not only elevate the overall standards but also ensure that Singapore remains a dominant force on the global stage in the sport.

Photo: Facebook screengrab / delanelimsg

“We are on the cusp of a thrilling new chapter for Tchoukball in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region. The inaugural Asia Pacific Schools Championships will be a testament to our commitment to fostering talent and solidifying our sport’s position on the global stage. With the backing of our newly appointed officials and the enormous support from the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation, we are poised to make a resounding impact,” shared TBAS President Lim.

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Lim pointed to two key board members who can help with these goals: new deputy-president Ho Kim Long, chairman of Ang Mo Kio Constituency Merchant Association, who will help with fundraising efforts for the sport, and Mark Sum, teacher and Head of Department at the Ministry of Education, who will spearhead TBAS push to be more active in schools in both Singapore, including the National School Games, and the region.

The selection of the players for Team Singapore will be determined by the results of the inter-school competitions, which TBAS are now lobbying for Tchoukball to be included in the upcoming National School Games. This task will fall on TBAS’ news secretary-general Mark Sum, who took over from long-serving secretary Jeff Ang. From Sep, Jeff, who has been coaching the Singapore teams since its inception in 2006, will be transitioning to be the regional technical director, taking charge of high-performance and upskilling coaches throughout the region.

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“There is now an increasing demand for a school category in Tchoukball tournaments due to the growth and popularity of the sport in Asia Pacific,” mentioned Sum, a former national tchoukball athlete.

The Asia Pacific Schools Championships also strives to meet the aspirations of young tchoukball enthusiasts by providing them with the chance to represent their countries in an international competition at a younger age in their sporting journey. This experience can lay the foundation for their future success in the sport, as it exposes them to higher levels of competition and allows them to showcase their skills on an international stage.

Tchoukball Association of Singapore’s new executive board:

President: Delane Lim (Genesis Club)

Vice-President: Ho Kim Long ((Genesis Club)

Secretary: Mark Sum (Crosslink Club)

Treasurer: Tan Wan Ying (Independent)

Athlete Commission Chairperson: Liaw Liqing (Genesis Club)

Board Members: Tony Tan Tuan Yong, Yong Wong Thing (both Crosslink Club), Ng Jiunn Jie, (Genesis Club)