Para Table Tennis is set to shine at the Commonwealth Games after the sport was confirmed to feature at Birmingham 2022 alongside Women’s T20 Cricket and Beach Volleyball.
This will be the biggest ever Para sport programme at a Commonwealth Games, with eight Para disciplines now confirmed for the multi-sport competition, helping to further the diversity of the Games, 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, Para Table Tennis 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 Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – which take place from 27 July to 7 August 2022 – will ensure that 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 Commonwealth Games Federation 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. The inclusion of Para Table Tennis in multisport competitions that are not exclusively “Para events” is also a clear proof of how popular Table Tennis is and how viable it is for local organising committees to stage our sport.” Thomas Weikert, ITTF President
“Today is an historic day for the Commonwealth Games and I am delighted that we can now confirm Birmingham 2022 will have the largest ever female and para-sport programme in history. I would like to congratulate and formally welcome Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis to the official sports programme for Birmingham 2022 and I know they will all help enhance what will be a spectacular and vibrant multi-sport event.” Dame Louise Martin, CGF 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.