Buenos Aires and Tokyo. At first glance, the two cities appear poles apart, geographically certainly. However, through sport and not least Table Tennis, there are more similarities than first meet the eye.
Tokyo will of course be hosting the Olympic Games in 2020, while Buenos Aires staged the Youth Olympic Games in October 2018: two very significant sporting events now linked by a special legacy.
It was at last year’s event in Argentina that the ITTF Foundation launched its first ever Table Tennis Legacy Project with the aim of leave a long-lasting positive impact in the host nation, building up to the Olympic Games in 18 months’ time.
The project, running since March 2018, aims to reach out to children from different social backgrounds, including those with a disability, or living in or close to one of the many Japanese communities in Argentina and reaching also the ones living far away from Buenos Aires.
Most project participants had no access to Table Tennis before, but now the sport is bringing them together, mixing players of different ages, nationalities, with or without a disability.
Through the project, a variety of meaningful values are shared among the hundreds of participants, all of which help to reinforce bonds between different communities, which otherwise would have very little natural cause for integration.
Inspirational role models and ITTF Foundation ambassadors, Ryu Seung-min and Galia Dvorak, as well as Youth Olympic Games athletes, interacted with children gathered at the venue, making this a project that will live with them forever.
You can now take a closer look at the work being done in Buenos Aires by viewing this short film about how the power of Table Tennis is bringing about positive and long-lasting social change:
This Table Tennis Legacy project constitutes one of six programs currently run by the ITTF Foundation, whose philosophy is ‘Solidarity through Table Tennis.’
Kindly supporting the project are main Sponsor, STAG, and the Foundation for Global Sports Development.