by ITTF Foundation
If you are still unsure what activity you wish to carry out on the day, here are a few ideas:
To add to the list; today we want to share ideas on how to use your event to promote peace through table tennis.
Nowadays, we can sadly see families, villages, towns, cities and countries facing violent conflict for reasons such as, resources, religion, politics and power. What if we all tried to change this within our local environment, before each conflict escalates?
Sport has the power to do great things and, according to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) this also offers an environment of normality in conflict areas.
It can help to:
…………Offer children sense of security
…………Support process of dispute resolution and confidence-building between communities, critical aspects for young people
…………Build tolerance and bridge ethnic divides
…………A safe and neutral space for communication
On a large scale, an example of the use of table tennis to reach understanding between two nations is Ping Pong Diplomacy in the 1970s; it marked the beginning of conversations between China and the United States.
In 1991 Ping Pong Diplomacy united North and South Korea at World Table Tennis Championships, in Chiba, Japan. On that occasion, Unified Korea won women’s team gold.
Again in 2018, at the Liebherr World Team Championships, in Halmstad, Sweden; North and South Korea were due to meet in the quarter-finals but they joined forces and continued competing as Unified Korea. The partnership between these two nations continued in the 2018 ITTF World Tour. Jang Woojin (South Korea) and Chan Hyo Sim (North Korea) won the mixed doubles title at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Shinan Korea Open before finishing as runners up at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Incheon.
We can apply Ping Pong Diplomacy in different contexts but with the same goals: understanding, union and peace. You are still on time to organise your event under the motto “TT4Peace”.
Clearly, we don’t expect or need everyone to work on such a large scale. We know that table tennis won’t solve conflicts from one day to another but we can make sure to transmit non-violent communication and peaceful resolution methods through our work; thereby, offering small everyday solutions, to transform these conflicts peacefully.
May we bring your attention to the Peace and Sport Adapted Sport Manual from Peace and Sport, note page 103 for inspirations as to concrete simple exercises which you could carry out in your community and encourage collaboration, communication, teamwork and understanding of the other:
If you need ideas on basic activities you could adapt, check out Tops Table Tennis in Australia.
Last but not least, be inspired by a project from last year’s World Table Tennis Day in Guatemala UVG 2018.
We hope the above gives you enough inspiration and maybe even encourages you to promote and create a new peace through table tennis activity! We look forward to hearing about your projects and activities.
To conclude in the words of Mahatma Gandhi once said: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”
2019 World Table Tennis Day: Register your event
2019 World Table Tennis Day: Download promotional package