Of all the recent emerging sports, Tchoukball ranks as one of the fastest growing disciplines. Wait, what ball? Pronounced “chuke-ball”, the indoor team sport was devloped by a Swiss biologist as a warm-up activity for handball. Today, Tchoukball is an international sport that is played widely in South-east Asia, including Singapore.

In SMU, the Tchoukball club was formed in 2014 by sportsmen and women from various sporting backgrounds. Against all odds, Denry Teo, whose most serious sport till then had been neighbourhood basketball, rose to become president of the club.

Denry found Tchoukball in the army, and developed a passion for the sport that led him to devote himself to growing its potential at SMU, which naturally paved the way for him to assume greater ownership opportunities.

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Tchoukball first appealed to Denry because of the unique nature of the game, he explains, “there is no physical contact, and both teams can score on either side. You need a sharp mind and very fast reflexes to play well. Even if you are of bigger build, size advantage counts for little because of the ‘no physical contact’ rule of the game.”

Opening up the court

This year marks fresh plans for the club, with some already set in motion, all of which have received strong support from SMU that Denry is thankful for. With Tchoukball already a Singapore University Games (SUniG) and Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games (IVP Games) sport, he has his sights set on creating inter-faculty Tchoukball games, that will expose more SMU students to the sport.

Besides organising hands-on events, Denry also wants to educate students and share his team’s experiences through in-school Tchoukball clinics. He comments wistfully, “a lot of times, there are not enough facilities for teams to train and practice. There is little information going around to educate people about the presence of the sport, and this leads to people not knowing how to pick up the sport.”

Lessons from the court

Denry has learnt many valuable lessons from a sport that, might look simple to play to the spectator, but is in fact extremely difficult to master. He cites perseverance and determination as two values that have been honed over the countless hours spent refining his Tchoukball game.

After some deep thought, Denry shares a key learning that he’s picked up from the sport, “everything is a process, and you need to truly enjoy it before the results can be seen.”