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Taytae leads team to world stage

By Louise Errington

Events Coordinator Nattapong (Taytae) Teerakaew leads a double life as Australian Sepak Takraw Team Manager Events Coordinator Nattapong (Taytae) Teerakaew leads a double life as Australian Sepak Takraw Team Manager

A Charles Darwin University staff member recently travelled to Thailand to attend the world championship for a sport that blends volleyball, gymnastics, soccer and martial arts.

Sepak takraw is an action-packed sport originating from South-East Asia, and its popularity is growing rapidly across the world.

Australian Sepak Takraw Team Manager and CDU Events Coordinator Nattapong (Taytae) Teerakaew said the King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship brought Australia and Asia together through sport.

“Through the cooperative work done by the Darwin-based Australian Sepak Takraw Association, the Northern Territory is emerging as the sport’s hub in Australia,” Mr Teerakaew said.

“In recent years, many NT players have competed on the world stage in international competitions, with some even living for short periods in Thailand each year to train with the teams there.”

Former CDU engineering student Alex Newman, along with teammates Daniel Ellen-Barwell, Garry Condoseres and Veng Thao represented Australia at this year’s competition.

They took out the bronze in the Men’s Regu Team Event (Division 2) and competed valiantly in the men’s doubles tournaments in a nail-biting contest.

The tournament was held in Udon Thani with teams from 27 countries vying for the title of World Sepak Takraw Champion.