Para table tennis could be set to shine at the Commonwealth Games after the sport was recommended for inclusion at Birmingham 2022 alongside Women’s T20 cricket and beach volleyball.
It would represent the eighth para-sport to be showcased at the Commonwealth Games, helping to further the diversity of the events programme, while continuing to raise the profile of Para table tennis around the world.
The sport has enjoyed a dramatic growth in participation numbers in recent times with over 2000 athletes currently active globally, representing more than 100 different countries.
Moreover, the sport boasts a proud history as one of the founder Paralympic Games disciplines, having been included among eight sports at the first ever event held in Rome in 1960, and its rich tradition with the Games will be further strengthened at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 events.
Now inclusion at the Commonwealth Games would ensure the sport features among the world’s most prestigious events, further increasing its exposure and appeal in key growth territories.
“The ITTF is delighted to learn that the CGF Executive Board has accepted the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee’s recommendation for the inclusion of Para table tennis. We wish to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Table Tennis England in preparing the submission. This will hopefully provide us with an opportunity to build upon the successes of the Gold Coast Games, to further the development of our Para athletes across the Commonwealth and provide an impetus for activity on the local and national scene in England. We eagerly await the endorsement of the CGF membership so that planning can move into high gear.”
Bruce Burton, ITTF Executive Vice President
Since the ITTF took over the governance of Para Table Tennis in what was a pioneer move in 2007, plenty of work has been done to improve many areas of the game, such as educating coaches, officials and developing the players themselves.
From a technical perspective, Para table tennis makes an extremely strong case for being regarded as the most inclusive sport for people with disabilities, using the same equipment as able-bodied athletes, the same rules and the same field of play, helping to provide equal opportunities and experiences to all.