The International Table Tennis Federation and PingPongParkinson® agreed today to continue to work together to deliver the 2022 Parkinson World Table Tennis Championship in Pula, Croatia, on 12-16 October.
ITTF President Petra Sörling commented on the newly agreed partnership:
“We are pleased to continue our work with PingPongParkinson®. Table tennis is one of the sports that most stimulates the cognitive system, and regular practice has beneficial effects on people affected by cognitive disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. As an organisation, we strive to promote table tennis benefits to a broad audience. The Parkinson World Table Tennis Championship – presented by PingPongParkinson® and the International Table Tennis Federation – will support those living with this illness and raise awareness among millions.”
Mr Nenad Bach, founder of PingPongParkinson®, was equally pleased, stating:
“It is a very happy day at New York’s PingPongParkinson® Headquarters, and soon all over the world including 22 countries that are already part of our global movement. With table tennis, we didn’t conquer Parkinson, but we conquered the fear of Parkinson. For me personally, and for all of us at PingPongParkinson®, this reaffirmation of collaboration means that we will be able to continue the help and education of millions of people with Parkinson and their caregivers worldwide. Despite the pandemic and the fact that the whole world is tilted these days, we find humanity in all of us, maybe not exposed enough, but certainly present in our lives.”
It was in 2018, in Halmstad that Mr. Bach first met the ITTF to discuss ideas on how to work together and soon after the ITTF CEO Steve Dainton presented the idea for a World Table Tennis Championship for those affected by Parkinson’s disease. PingPongParkinson® and the ITTF Foundation then brought this idea to life. The first-ever Parkinson World Table Tennis Championship was held in 2019 in Westchester, New York, before the pandemic. The second edition took place in Berlin, Germany, in 2021.
Scientific research shows that regular table tennis practice improves all players’ social, mental, and physical well-being. Specifically, the sport has beneficial effects on people affected by cognitive disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, with the appropriate levels of physical and mental demands to help cope with the degenerative effects of their condition.
Mr Bach created the non-profit organisation PingPongParkinson® after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and noticing that playing table tennis improved his motor symptoms and mood. For years, he has led the cause to spread the message that Table Tennis is a wonderful tool to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and help patients attain an improved quality of life.
Additional information about the 2022 Parkinson World Table Tennis Championship will be released soon.