The ITTF is deeply saddened by the passing of Annabel Pennefather. At the forefront for women in sport, Pennefather was at the heart and soul of the sports scene in Singapore, while also breathing life into the activities of numerous disciplines worldwide.
A former national hockey player and former president of the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) Pennefather was also the first female chef de mission at the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) serving at the Commonwealth Games (2002) and Olympic Games (2004).
Pennefather held important positions in several international federations across the world and, as head of the sports law practice at Withers KhattarWong, she played a crucial role in helping the ITTF become legally established in 2011 and assisted the ITTF in all legal matters in Singapore.
Furthermore, she provided invaluable support and kindly called upon her wealth of connections to introduce the ITTF to key sports persons in Singapore and various business persons in the Asia-Pacific region.
Most recently, Pennefather helped to set up World Table Tennis (WTT), the ITTF’s new events and commercial vehicle launching in 2021, for which she was also a founding board member.
“Annabel played a huge part to the success that the ITTF has enjoyed since we moved the ITTF Asia-Pacific Office to Singapore, not only thanks to her excellent legal expertise but also her extremely friendly approach in sincerely wanting the sport of table tennis to grow and to become a more professional and prominent sport globally. We would meet on a regular basis for lunch at a place which she often chose and which were always wonderful days of story-telling about the sports industry, the politics in a number of different sports and also discussing how to help table tennis become more successful. Her locations for lunch meetings are ones which I continue to frequent for business meetings. Personally, Annabel also helped me as a lawyer when needing several documents signed for my children born in Singapore and needing to solve the Australian citizenship procedures. We will miss her dearly and we will never forget how her help to the ITTF was decisive in ensuring we set up a professional base for our sport in Singapore.” – Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO
The ITTF sends its deepest condolences to the Pennefather family at this difficult time.