28 Jun 2021

Even when the pandemic has further divided us, the table tennis community stays united. Thanks to donors worldwide and the ITTF Group, the TableTennisUnited Fund has ensured the training opportunity for over 50 children in Slovakia. Elsewhere, world number five junior player Swastika Ghosh recovers from acute financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

by Jia Li, ITTF Foundation Communication Coordinator

MSK STO Krompachy

Before Covid-19, the Slovakia based table tennis club MSK STO Krompachy had opened its door to over 50 children that were crazy about the sport. To promote the health and social benefits of table tennis, MSK STO Krompachy offered free training sessions to those that just wanted to play for fun, as well as the young talents with big dreams.

Free sessions were no longer possible once the lockdown had begun.

“We’ve had no income. Our trainings have been inconsistent with Covid-19 restrictions, and we struggled to pay our coaches. We’d like to keep the free sessions but knew it wouldn’t be possible without financial support.”  Paulo Leandora Guassardo, MSK STO Krompachy.

We cannot testify to the existence of genies, but TableTennisUnited Fund will always respond to the call. A few months on, we are happy to have heard that the children are now enjoying their training sessions again, dreaming of representing their beloved country at future Olympic Games.

Swastika Ghosh

By the time we heard from Ghosh, the situation was severe. The world number five junior player from India was struggling to continue with training, and even maintaining the daily nutritional needs as an athlete seemed impossible.

Her father Sandeep, who is also her coach and training partner, has been jobless for nine months when the player reached out to us. Sandeep was a table tennis coach at the DAV Public School at Nerul but since the lockdown, he has been forced into the “no work, no pay” scheme and had to dig into his savings to make ends meet.

“We simply couldn’t afford Swastika’s training anymore. I did everything within my power but at one point I had almost no money in my account. There was no way I could fund her training expense and we were considering leaving Mumbai” – Sandeep Ghosh.

Unfortunately, Ghosh’s situation was not an isolated event. The TableTennisUnited Fund has been receiving applications from players worldwide, all suffering from similar financial side-effects from the pandemic. We are happy to report that Ghosh is now able to resume her training and continues her journey towards becoming the next big name in India’s table tennis world.

It has been a little over a year on from the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic. One thing we have learned is that despite all the inequity around the world, the virus does not discriminate. While some of us are better equipped in this battle, it is also our responsibility to support those with empty magazines.

Thanks to our donors and the ITTF Group, the TableTennisuUnited Fund continues to support the table tennis community through one of the toughest times for mankind.

Read about how the TableTennis United Fund made training possible for future Paralympic athletes in Argentina and Germany.

ITTF Foundation TableTennisUnited Swastika Ghosh