by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Star names but on this special day, they were not the stars. The stars were the people, the common man; those who make the stars possible, those who showed initiative to somehow, somewhere play table tennis.
Universality was the theme; the fact was clearly endorsed that everyone can play table tennis. There are no barriers or race, creed, gender, physical attributes or geographical location.
“It doesn’t matter if you have your whole body or you have a disability, you can all play together and have fun”, Peter Rosenmeier
However, as World Table Tennis Day continues to gain momentum, did we not witness universality in a different guise?
The sport itself has in built universality. It adapts, use a few grains of imagination and you can play here, there and everywhere.
On whatever point of the compass eyes focused, table tennis was being played with equipment perhaps not being quite that which would adorn the Olympic Games but supported the Olympic spirit.
Table tennis was played on a big table, a little table and a makeshift table; one that might usually be used as a pasting board. Equally there were big rackets, small rackets and rackets that simply did the job; you do not need a handle on a racket to play!
Also, people played indoors and outdoors; in the kitchen, living room and garden. The more prudent sat down to play; others ran around the table whilst the more adventurous stood on skateboards or similar moveable objects.
In fact, some played with no table at all; just sit on the floor and hit the ball to your partner.
Test your skills was also an option, how many times can you hit the ball in the air without missing and if you are really adept; can you perform the skill using the edge of the racket, or the end of the handle?
It was a fun day, it was enjoyment, a time to remember and above all else, World Table Tennis Day achieved its goal. It brought out the best in people; exactly what sport should do!
“Don’t forget to register your event no matter how big or small, whether held on Thursday 6th April or within one week either side. It makes a difference in showing the world the importance of this day.” Glenn Tepper, ITTF Deputy Chief Executive Officer