30 Dec 2019

The first official year of the ITTF Foundation comes to an end, time to reflect, time to express our thanks for the support received.

Established as the social responsibility arm of the International Table Tennis Federation, the organisation was recognised officially in March 2019. Solidarity through table tennis is the guiding principle, the not-for-profit organisation aims to use table tennis for positive social outcomes focused on joint actions, rather than on mere charity.

by Wiebke Scheffler, ITTF Foundation – Head of Operations

A team of seven highly motivated staff, under the guidance of Thomas Weikert, President ITTF Foundation and Leandro Olvech, Director ITTF Foundation, have worked tirelessly, establishing the concept as a leading organisation that sets the best possible example for development and peace.

Offices opened on Saturday 28th September, the vibrant German city of Leipzig is the home for the headquarters.

Leandro Olvech (left) and (right) Thomas Weikert perform the official opening

World Table Tennis Day

Award winning humanitarian projects, initiated under auspices of the ITTF Development Programme have been prevalent.

In addition World Table Tennis Day came under the umbrella of the ITTF Foundation; the celebrations #WorldTableTennisDay, focused on Saturday 6th April, were the biggest ever.

ITTF Foundation: 2019 World Table Tennis Day Report

ITTF Foundation: Register 2020 World Table Tennis Day event

Solidarity through table tennis

The year began with ambitious goals; the exciting and interactive ittffoundation.org was launched.

You now have not only the possibility to read our latest news but you can also browse through our many programmes and projects, applying filters of where and what you want to see. You can download interesting items through the “Get Inspired” section, “Get Involved” tells you where and how you can help us, you can register your World Table Tennis Day event.

We are keen to offer you the most personalised browsing experience. Keep posted, as exciting news items are about to be added in 2020.

ITTF Foundation: Solidarity through table tennis

Athlete Emergency Fund

A successful agreement between the ITTF Foundation and the ITTF Athletes’ Commission established the Athlete Emergency Fund to support players who may suffer serious illness or injury. Click here to see details.

Donation campaign

Also 2019 saw the launch of our donation campaign. You like what we do? Help us grow through on-line donation, raising funds for our project partners working with some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups around the world.

All private donations made to the ITTF Foundation go directly to our operations and partners in the field. Don’t hesitate, donate now!

ITTF Foundation: Donation Campaign

Dream Building

As a best way to bring table tennis to where it’s really needed, the year 2019 saw the first two applications for the Dream Building Fund, a fund created for projects aiming at transforming specific local projects linked to one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, #SDGs.

Six projects came out in the first call, notably two in Africa, one in Latin America, two in Europe and one in North America. The second call is still being evaluated; the successful applicants will be revealed in early 2020.

ITTF Foundation: Making Dreams Come True

World Parkinson’s Championships

In October, the first ever World Parkinson’s Championships was staged. New York was the host for this historic event, the benefits of playing table tennis agreed by all who suffer from the symptoms.

There was an amazing spirit among the players, returning home motivated to promote Ping Pong Parkinson in their own areas.

ITTF Foundation: World Parkinson’s Championships


We truly believe in contributing to a better world through table tennis; we are always glad when publicly recognised. It shows that we must be on the right track with our work and motivates us to keep working in this direction.

The year brought two international recognitions:

Grant aid

Grants became available.

  • The Agitos Foundation supports para table tennis for refugees in Jordan. The Dream Building with Refugees project aims to provide access to para sport and social inclusion for refugees living in the Jordanian Refugee Camps of Za’atari and Azraq.
  • The European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) supports “Sport and Psycho-social Initiatives for Inclusive Training (SPIRIT)”, to which the ITTF Foundation will contribute through coaching and other expertise.
Vote of thanks

The ITTF Foundation is growing, in particular we thank:

  • ITTF Executive Committee and all ITTF staff for their constant support
  • Liu Guoliang, recently elected President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, for expressing support at the recently celebrated ITTF Star Awards
  • Our Governing Board and Board of Trustees for all the decisions taken to allow the ITTF Foundation grow
  • The City of Leipzig for its warm welcome
  • Our partner organisations with whom we enjoy working
  • Our sponsors and donors who believe in us and in the power of table tennis to change the world
  • Most importantly to all those people on the ground transforming lives on a daily basis through table tennis. It’s only because of you, who believe in the positive results of table tennis and who use this force that things are being done.

We are looking forward to a bright 2020 with Table Tennis for ALL, for life!

Thomas Weikert (left) and (right) Leandro Olvech at the Sports Business Awards (Photo: courtesy of Sports Business Awards)
ITTF Foundation ITTF Foundation