15 Jan 2019

The second most common age related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s; it is estimated that between 7,000,000 to 10,000,000 people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, the disorder, which affects motor functions of the patients, has no cure but there are treatments to slow down its progression.

Thus to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease; can use the 2019 World Table Tennis Day, Saturday 6th April, to help?

by ITTF Foundation

Early this year, at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships, we met Nenad Bach, a Croatian musician settled in New York since 1984. He is the founder of Ping Pong Parkinson, an initiative to help people with Parkinson’s disease through table tennis.

Six years ago Nenad Bach was diagnosed with the illness.

“I lived too fast and my body in self-preservation decided to slow me down whether I liked it or not.” Nenad Bach

Now, 40 years after he first played table tennis in Pleasantville, New York and liked the sport; once a week he began to play again. After five years of his diagnosis, he couldn’t play the guitar but that changed after trying table tennis.

“I couldn’t perform live some songs with syncopation and now I can; that is a huge difference in my perception of my diagnosis.” Nenad Bach

Also, he confessed that he can practise other motor activities.

“Plus a little secret: I juggle three objects as well and I love it almost as much as table tennis.” Nenad Bach

After seeing the improvement, Nenad Bach wanted to share the benefits of table tennis and created Ping Pong Parkinson.

“I wanted to share my observation, so that everybody else with Parkinson’s disease will be able to benefit in the same or similar way as I do.” Nenad Bach

Now, as with Nenad, the ITTF Foundation also wants everyone to realise the benefits of table tennis. So we encourage World Table Tennis Day event organisers to focus their events not only on fun but also on people’s health.

Probably people will be a bit shy at the beginning, so it is important to make them feel comfortable and keep them motivated. The objective is to make them come back to play table tennis.

Take these tips into account to have a successful event:

  • Contact local authorities and organizations for people with Parkinson’s disease to invite participants to the event
  • Ask organizations about Parkinson’s disease for any special requirements, in order to make participants feel more comfortable during the event
  • Plan activities, which can be carried out by all participants
  • Establish contact with the organizations and participants after the event

In conclusion, Nenad Bach makes an invitation to all with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Move physically and mentally. Find something in that domain that you love to do anyway, so that you do not need discipline to continue doing it.” Nenad Bach

World Table Tennis Day 2019: Registration Form

World Table Tennis Day 2019: Promotional Package

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2019 World Table Tennis Day Nenad Bach