22 December 2017

ISTAF CONGRESS 2017 General Charouck Arirachakaran, President of Takraw Association of Thailand (TAT) was re-elected unopposed as President, International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) for a 4 years term during the International Sepaktakraw Federation’s Congress.

A total of 50 delegates from 17 countries attended the Congress held at Alexander Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. Details of the council members who were elected and appointed willserve the next term from 2018-2021 (4 years term) are as follows:

President 1 Gen. Charouck Arirachakaran – Thailand

Deputy President 1 Boonchai Lorhpipat – Thailand

Deputy President 2 Sohrab Azad Khan Kandi – Iran

Vice President 1 S.R. Premraj – India, 2 Lee Qoea Gyu – Korea, 3 Muhammad Fariq Abdul Halim – Singapore, 4 Meas Sarin – Cambodia, 5 Karen Tanchanco-Caballero – Philippines, 6 Shunichi Takeshita – Japan, 7 Yeh Chen Yen – Chinese Taipei, 8 Dhurba Bahadur Gurung – Nepal

Secretary General Abdul Halim Bin Kader, BBM – Singapore

Deputy Secretary General Muhammad Taufiq – Singapore

Asst. Secretary General Yogender Singh Dahiya – India

Treasurer Prof. Chalerm Chaiwatcharaporn – Thailand

Council Members 1 Abdul Sarip Naharawi – Singapore, 2 Ali Fouladi Rad – Iran, 3 Kazi Rajib Ahmed Chapol – Bangladesh, 4 Lee Kwangsun – Korea, 5 Tony Ontam – USA, 6 Noushad Ahmed Khan – Pakistan, 7 Hj Asnawi Bin Abdul Rachman – Indonesia, 8 Francesco Schaufer – Germany, 9 Patrick Laemmel – France, 10 Reto Loeliger – Switzerland

Auditor Gum Yeon Goo – Korea

General Charouck Arirachakaran, 84 years old, who is also the Vice President and Secretary General of Thailand National Olympic Committee in his state opening address to the congress, thanked all member countries for the trust and support that was given to him during the last tenure and. He said that presently Sepaktakraw is at a crossroad and there are so much work for ISTAF in transforming and bringing the sport into the world stage which will culminate in it becoming an Olympic Sport. In his opening remarks during the 32nd Thai King’s Cup World Championship held in Bangkok last 10 December 2017, Gen. Charouck Arirachakaran who is also the Vice Chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia announced the introduction of using technology to aid referee in officiating sepaktakraw matches. General Charouck emphasised that the video refereeing system which is called the “Challenge System” which will enhance the referees standards when they are refereeing so that the video recordings will be reviewed to help the Referee when the team doubts a call whether a ball is in or out or if a leg crosses over the net or not.

Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Kader who is also the President of Singapore Sepaktakraw Federation and President of Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (ASTAF), was reappointed as ISTAF Secretary General for another term of 4 years reaffirmed that a revolution is already taking place in the sport in terms of the standard of play, the rules of the game, the presentation of the court of play, audience experience and the standard of refereeing which are befitting the Sepaktakraw Sports worldwide. Abdul Halim Bin Kader, 67 years old, has been with ISTAF since its inception in 1992 as Deputy Secretary General who became its Secretary General in 1996. The transformation of the game is being continued until our recognition by International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make Sepaktakraw being an Olympic sport. To achieve this dream, Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Kadersaid that a high-level ISTAF Task Force consisting of ISTAF EXCO members will continue its program to reach as many non-playing countries and to introduce and develop the sports in these countries. These countries are the Central Asia Region, Africa and the America.

The International Seapaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) in collaboration with Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (ASTAF) is confident that they can bring in another 20 countries to play the sport from the grassroots level like street Sepaktakraw right up to the international level. ISTAF will also work with ASTAF to ensure that Sepaktakraw meets all the criteria set by the IOC in its application to be a recognized Olympic sport. Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Kader also urged all member countries to continue to bring their level of governance for the sport to a higher level which will be on par with other international sports federations. ISTAF will continue to initiate a requirement for all council members to sign a Declaration of Conflict of Interest so as ensure that ISTAF’s integrity is intact from the onset. For the first time in the history of the sport, all Sepaktakraw International and Regional Referees are required to declare any conflict of interest every two years.

THE SEPAKTAKRAW UNIQUE BRAND Penetrating the evolving market of the sports world gave the sport of Sepaktakraw a remarkable personality and a unique position to fans who seek entertainment with a phenomenal blend of a trapeze artist carrying aerial tricks and the flair of a volleyball-football-gymnastics combined act. Pushing the unique brand of Sepaktakraw is a result of various components. Social media features provide the behind the scene memories, fans giveaway contests, and live commentaries. The Sepaktakraw tournament venue experience showcased color identities in host continents. Logo consistency across all platforms exhibited Sepaktakraw life. Game’s operation’s management opens the door of Sepaktakraw showcasing the coordinated work of the people working behind the stage ensuring spectator appetite is met. As a whole, packaging Sepaktakraw for marketing and public relations has introduced the sport to the whole new world of social media.

WHERE IS SEPAKTAKRAW NOW GOING? Each ISTAF member country will ‘adopt’ non-playing countries,to help them in their development. Iran for instance, has focused on helping out three Central Asian countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. China will assist the development of Sepaktakraw in Hongkong, while Singapore will help Timor Leste. As a result, National Olympic Committees will be enjoined to form its Sepaktakraw associations. The Sepaktakraw family is proud to say that the ISTAF World Cup platform is progressing on all fronts, from year to year and from one tournament to another. The new format of introducing the ISTAF World Cup has yielded great success. This was created due to the demand from fans around the world, clamoring to witness matches with evenly contested and equally-skilled teams.

The recent ISTAF World Regu Event in Hyderabad, India from 1-8 November 2017 attracted 17 countries categorised as top level teams in the regs event. Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Kader is happy to announce that International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF), the governing body for Sepaktakraw is now a founding member of Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS) that was established in 2009 and has been recognised by the IOC in 2016. One of the objectives of AIMS is to strengthen each individual sport, combine expertise, share knowledge and maintain close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for future recognition of our sport Sepaktakraw. At present there are 21 members of AIMS including ISTAF. With the continuing growth of the sport around the globe, the (ISTAF) is confident that in the near future, Sepaktakraw will be included in the Olympics. This aspiration will not be possible without the dedication and commitment of every member countries and all the different stockholders regardless of their role to augment the sport to a higher level across all levels of the game. Sepaktakraw will soar to a new height with our next landing will be at the Summer Olympic Games.