The global table tennis community has never been greater or more active than today. The ITTF now counts over four million fans across its social media platforms worldwide, and we would first of all like to thank everyone for their continuous support through likes, comments, shares, as well as all the amazing videos and other media you have shared with us throughout the year.
Despite difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ITTF is galvanising table tennis fans and new followers from across the globe to stay active and keep spirits high through a series of social media initiatives:
World’s Longest Rally
Organised by the ITTF Foundation and supported by the ITTF, World Table Tennis Day has grown tremendously year on year with a record breaking 922 events in 107 countries registered in 2019.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World Table Tennis Day on Monday 6th April 2020 will be taking on a very different form to previous editions. Instead of the traditional social gatherings, casual table tennis activities and charity events around the world, this time people will be engaged in the sport like never before via special initiatives planned on social media.
So, what’s the best way to encourage each one of our four million followers to get involved? Creating the biggest table tennis rally of course! Over the past week, fans across the world have been encouraged to send in video clips of them returning a table tennis ball, which will be combined to create the world’s longest and certainly craziest table tennis rally to celebrate a very special 2020 World Table Tennis at Home Day!
This year’s World Table Tennis Day will also see the ITTF’s digital channels showcase a special 24-hour event of wall-to-wall table tennis, starting at 00:00 GMT.
Fans will be treated to 24 hours of never-seen-before, original archive footage – all in HD – revisiting a bucket list of classic, unforgettable matches from the past and many of the greatest legends to ever play the sport!
Even more exciting, there will be hidden Easter eggs at certain points of the 24-hour programme. The challenge is for fans to collect as many Easter eggs as possible by taking selfies displaying the eggs and submit them to this online form for a chance to win autographed balls and rackets.
Ready for the Ultimate Challenge?
Every week, fans are being treated to a series of classic matches from the past on the ITTF’s digital platforms. The initiative began with a bang in the last week of March, which saw the 2006 World Championships replayed with full matches on Facebook and highlights on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. This kept fans entertained during the week that the Hana Bank 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships would originally have been staged, but for the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a number of classic encounters, such as the China vs Germany men’s team semi-final:
Many more “Blast from the Past” matches will be replayed across the ITTF’s social media channels over the coming weeks.
Using the hashtag #SafeTableTennis, fans have been making videos of how they are showing their passion for table tennis with anything and everything they can find, despite being quarantined at home! The very best fan submissions are being featured on ITTF social channels with the additional chance to win a prize.
COVID-19 is of course affecting the players as well and they too have been sending in their videos, showing how they are keeping up with their training routines to stay on top of their game even while in isolation. The best #TrainLikeAPro “Home Edition” videos are also being featured on ITTF social channels.