12 Dec 2018

Next year on Saturday 6th April, the 2019 World Table Tennis Day will be staged; in a similar vein earlier this year on Monday 3rd December, organized by the United Nations, the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities was held, the theme being “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

Thus whether an experienced organizer or new and you are looking for an event next April, consider including persons who are incapacitated.

Inclusion is the third pillar of World Table Tennis Day. Its goal is to integrate minority groups or people who suffer any type of discrimination regardless whether it is based on, political conflicts, social background, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.

According to the United Nations, 10 per cent of the world population lives with an incapacity. In some regions, such people are outcasts, not members of the society. They are denied education, mixing with their peers and even health care.

Hidden behind discrimination is often ignorance. Many just do not know how to include or adapt their environment to integrate people with disabilities. Ignorance leads to lack of empathy and understanding and, as a consequence, they are left out from society. Instead, wouldn’t it be easier to ask them how they are and what we could do to level the playing field?

World Table Tennis Day in 2018 in Prabuty, Poland

One step in this direction could be organising an event with them as an opportunity to know each other, find solutions together and promote inclusion.

Before planning the event, we have to consider some important aspects, such as who will attend my event? We have to know the disabilities of people who will attend, in order to adapt the venue of the event and make them feel welcomed. What are their needs? It is important to know if they have special needs or attention to make them feel comfortable.

What kind of activities can be carried out? To entertain the participants, the following games can be organised: roller ball, bounce and catch, bounce and transfer, bouncer challenge

In 2018 on World Table Tennis Day, some of the events for people with disabilities were “Swiatowy Dzien Tenisa Stołowego ZSP Prabuty” in Poland and World Table Tennis Day in Thailand. The event in Poland organised different activities for conventional players and people with disabilities but also activities, where they can participate together. Some of the activities were: table tennis knowledge quizzes, activities at the table, painting and motor skill activities.

Notably, the event in Bangkok, Thailand, was dedicated especially to children with disabilities but the general public also took part of the activities. They played some games at the table, spend time with other children and adults and there was also a banquet at the end of the event.


In Thailand for 2018 World Table Tennis Day the focus was on the disabled (Photo: courtesy of Table Tennis Association of Thailand)

 

Such events are positive examples of projects promoting inclusion, because they included creative activities for people with disabilities together with the general public and offer a complete experience for all participants.

For 2019 World Table Tennis Day, everyone should be invited to continue this legacy and make a contribution to live in a more inclusive society.

2019 World Table Tennis Day: Smash Down Barriers – Table Tennis Disability Programme

2019 World Table Tennis Day: Event Registration Form

2019 World Table Tennis Day: Promotional Package

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ITTF Foundation 2019 World Table Tennis Day Thailand Poland