22 Mar 2017

The total number of national associations affiliated to the International Table Tennis Federation set to reach 226 members, more than any other such organisation, when current applications are approved at the forthcoming ITTF Congress to be staged in the German city of Düsseldorf in late May; the universality of table tennis is highlighted.

It is the underlying theme for World Table Tennis Day, officially Thursday 6th April.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Two centres will be the focal point of activities on what is the third year of the initiative.

On Tuesday 28th March the United Nations Headquarters in New York will be the centre of celebration.

Hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Monaco to the United Nations and facilitated by Peace and Sport; the International Table Tennis Federation will be joined by the World Taekwondo Federation. The major themes will be to find ways of adapting materials to enable parts of the world with limited resources to play sport and devise more possibilities for sport to be a vehicle for social change and inclusivity.

Alongside Thomas Weikert, ITTF President and Leandro Olvech, ITTF Director-Development, it is anticipated that Joël Bouzou, the Founder and President of Peace and Sport, alongside Gordon Kaye, the Chief Executive USA Table Tennis will be present. Tahl Leibovitz, a Class 9 Para player and Kanak Jha, the youngest ever player to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games will be present to give an exhibition match and play against spectators.

Table tennis for everyone, everywhere – popular, universal and inclusive

Eight days later on Thursday 6th April, attention turns to the SportAccord Convention in Aarhus, Denmark.

Once again Joël Bouzou, Thomas Weikert and Leandro Olvech will be present, as will the host nation’s Allen Bentsen, a stalwart of the Danish National Team for many years and Peter Rosenmeier, a Class 6 Para player who struck gold at the Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A presentation highlighting projects and best practices will be made by Leandro Olvech, with Allen Bentsen and Peter Rosenmeier providing exhibition matches.

High Performance and Development World Table Tennis Day Kanak Jha Thomas Weikert Leandro Olvech Peter Rosenmeier Gordon Kaye Joël Bouzou Tahl Leibovitz Allen Bentsen