The best revenge is living well they say. Despite Covid-19 is making the world feeling stranded, April 6th 2021 was a day packed with action and hot-head nostalgia. Olympic athletes sharing their tested home-workouts and game strategies, while professional coaches disclosed their secrets on how to manage stress and boost table tennis involvement in physically challenged communities. The faint-hearted table tennis lovers had the chance to indulge in historical matches, as inspiring female role models shared their experience and motivation in the pursuit of gender equality across the world.
Just when you thought we couldn’t have done more in celebration of WTTD 2021, here are some highlight events around the world that we’re honoured and happy to be a part of.
In Ecuador, where table tennis knows no gender
What’s a better name for a FEMpowerment campaign than “She as a Leader”!
The project was born in-line with this year’s WTTD message, by the Ecuadorian Table Tennis Federation (FETM) to raise female participation in sports. On WTTD, an all-female panel discussion with athletes and sport psychologists was held where they spoke about their experiences of being a female leader in the sports environment.
FETM is also our partner in the “My Gender. My Strength.” Programme, led by ITTF High Performance and Development. 28 young female athletes from eight different provinces in Ecuador took part in a series of lessons from professionals to combat gender inequality.
In Argentina, where table tennis knows no age
Led by our dedicated local promoter Omar Bentancor, a pilot project with a two-hour livestream featuring music, dance, and table tennis exhibitions was held on April 6th. The lyrics were adapted and re-written to embrace the FEMpowerment message. But it was not just about fun! Omar used the opportunity and presented great examples of how different stakeholders in Argentina use table tennis to produce positive social change in their community.
You’d be wrong to think the event concluded here. World champion Juan Pablo Castet also joined the event as the day finished with a symbolic, (inter) generational game, where women aged 10 to 70, regardless of their level all played together.
“Table tennis has no limits and is accessible for everyone. We want to show that everyone can compete in table tennis, regardless of age, skill and ableness,” Omar Bentancor.
A day of music, dance, and table tennis! This is pretty close to, if not the perfect Latin American way to celebrate WTTD 2021!
From Jordan to Uganda, where table tennis knows no border
All ITTF TT Dream Building projects joined this year’s WTTD celebration. From the refugee camp in Za’atari to the Slums of Uganda or the Northern part of Ecuador, the WTTD spirit shone through the table tennis fields and upon those creative face paintings to celebrate the occasion. Other ideas including getting the parents to try table tennis, or a webinar on the future of sports for development have all made WTTD 2021 a day to remember.
Many of the events wouldn’t have been possible without our 47 World Table Tennis Day promoters. They were our roots on the ground and sole connections to the local communities. WTTD is special because our table tennis community is special!
In our journey to pursue solidarity and equality with table tennis, it is a day like World Table Tennis Day that unites our community. If you’ve missed this year’s celebration, mark your calendar now for April 6th 2022!