by Johan Larsson Jufvas
The event was hosted by the Parliaments Sports Club, WTTC 2018 Halmstad and the Swedish Table Tennis Association.
Notably, the competition had two world class umpires and role models, Matilda Ekholm, Sweden’s top female player and Jörgen Persson, former World champion and Liebherr 2018 World Championships Ambassador.
All eight political parties in the Swedish Parliament participated in a competition organised on a knock-out basis. Represented by Maria Malmer Stenergard and Pål Johnsson, the Swedish Moderate Party emerged as proud winners.
Significantly, the upcoming Liebherr 2018 World Championship was the main topic of conversation, being one of the biggest international championships ever to be held in Sweden. It is also a hot topic for the members of Parliament. Anders Ygeman, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, was most enthusiastic
“The Liebherr World Championship is important for Sweden, especially for the relations with the Asian markets. Table tennis is a huge sport internationally and Sweden has a proud history in the sport. I hope the World Championships will put the spotlight on Halmstad, Sweden and Swedish table tennis.” Anders Ygeman
Positive words from Anders Ygeman; it was the same from Lars Püss, who represents the Swedish Moderate Party both in Parliament and in the Municipality of Halmstad. He has been a part of the preparations in Halmstad since the start of the campaign in 2012.
“This is fantastic. The Battle of Parties is a political smash for the Liebherr World Table Tennis Championship 2018 in Halmstad.” Lars Püss
Meanwhile present on behalf of the Swedish Table Tennis Association was Petra Sörling, the President and Mikael Peterson, the Secretary-General.
“This is perfect for the World Championships. The Battle of Parties shows that everyone can play table tennis together, at all levels. There are many hidden talents here in parliament.” Petra Sörling
What does it mean for the sport to be involved at the highest political level in Sweden?
When we started the World Championships campaign, our aim was to show table tennis to all of Sweden and achieve a sustainable growth of the sport. This has been achieved in the project “Ping Pong Power” together with Halmstad. One of our slogans in the project has been “Welcome to the next level”.
We have arrived, this is the next level!