by ITTF Foundation
Many great events took place this year on World Table Tennis Day. Working with organisers worldwide has taught us that a successful event can take any form. Ever since the day Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, ITTF Foundation has been searching for creative ways to continue its mission in using table tennis for development while respecting local restrictions. Thanks to Omar and the Argentine table tennis community, we have now discovered a four-step recipe for a successful social responsibility event.
Promoting this pilot project for WTTD 2021, Omar demonstrated how to engage, promote, and amplify your social responsibility events.
Make it fun
Spread the message and let the audience have fun!
During Omar’s two-hour WTTD event, there was something for everyone. A live band kick-started celebrations with the song “Topeando en Vivo“. The groupies soon realised that the lyrics have been adapted to echo the FEMpowerment campaign, as a female urban dance group performed to complete the concept.
Rap artist Mateo Rincón brought a little hip-hop to the floor. Using a tailored beat dedicated to FEMpowerment and promoting inclusion through table tennis, he reminded the audience of the importance of gender equality, paying tribute to renowned female players that contribute to our favourite sport.
Engage and inspire your audience with role models.
Juan Pablo Castet, the champion of the World Games for People with Down Syndrome joined the celebration as the event reached its conclusion. The athlete has shown great determination and the unlimited potential within us all.
The audience was also joined by Candela Basma, a Para table tennis player who is going through a difficult transition from playing standing up to a wheelchair.
“Both Juan Pablo Castet and Candela Basma are great role models. Their presence not only empowered the audience; it was also a great opportunity for both athletes to gain support and potential sponsorship to continue playing.” Omar Bentancor
The two-hour WTTD celebration finished with a “Match of the generations.” Focused on FEMpowerment, female attendees aged nine to 70 were invited to play against one another.
“The result of the match was irrelevant. We wanted to highlight female participation and that age does not matter.”
Create synergy by involving local organisations and sponsors.
In collaboration with organisations including Cedima, Estación Ping Pong and Volver a jugar, Omar has further showcased the unifying power of table tennis in these challenging times.
“These three organisations represent different ways of how table tennis can have an impact on people’s lives. We have made a video for each to document their contribution to our community and the event.”
Local businesses in Argentina also played a big role in the event.
“We wanted to support Argentine companies, especially under this economical fragility Covid-19 has brought. Our two big sponsors: GALAUT produces rackets with wood from Argentina. ICARO, a local tech company that manufactures the ball throwing robot, which was loved by everyone that have seen it in our event.”
The WTTD celebrations officially concluded on Tuesday 6th April, but the pilot project continues. Omar is keen to extend the reach of the event beyond the table tennis community; with a proposal of a TV programme on its way to local channels, Omar is looking to engage people of all age and interests.
Asked what advice he would give to those that wish to make an impact by creating similar events, Omar said:
“Find people that share your vision and bring them onboard; this event would not have been possible without the support of everyone involved. We have had over 12 sponsors that had helped us in different ways. The celebration event took place in Estadio Héctor Etchart. This modern stadium with top facilities made the event even more enjoyable for the audience.”
Here is a glimpse of the WTTD celebration in Argentina. It is in Spanish, but the pulsating vibe surely transcends language barriers.
Also check out how WTTD 2021 was celebrated around the world if you need inspiration for your next event.