by Wade Townsend
Who plays table tennis? Everyone.
In 1926 the ITTF was founded with ten associations to its name. The dream has always been to have table tennis in every corner of the world. In 2017 the impossible was realised as the federation welcomed the last remaining countries to reach 226 member associations; that’s every country and territory on earth.
No other sporting association can hold such a claim.
The historical moment came on the 6th May 2017, as the Guinea Bissau Table Tennis Federation was founded; the last member on earth.
But the task wasn’t simply adding new associations to the roster. Always at the forefront was providing each new member the ongoing technical and equipment support to develop.
Guinea Bissau, like every other country at some point, is starting from zero. This is where the ITTF development programs step in to ensure that table tennis in region is more than just a name. The programs and a talented work force will guarantee the sport spreads and is put in to practice.
Table tennis has come a long way from Ivor Montagu sitting in his dorm room in King’s College, Cambridge, formulating the first rules of the sport. What once was an English parlour game, is now global language.
From humble beginnings, table tennis has taken over the world, and it doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.
Check out the full year in review below and relive some of the best moments from table tennis in 2017.