For the first time in two years the international table tennis community has gathered in Amman, Jordan ready to tackle big questions facing the sport over the next half century.
The first-ever ITTF Summit starts tonight in Amman, a gathering of as many stakeholders as possible to make up for time lost from not being able to meet in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I could not be more thankful for our Jordanian hosts stepping up and ensuring such a wonderful first-ever ITTF Summit is happening,” Petra Sörling, ITTF President, said. “When I was elected to my position, I envisioned events like this bringing together such a wide variety of stakeholders to challenge each other and think through new solutions to grow the sport we love. Seeing you all for the first time in two years will be a pleasure, and not something I take likely as your President.”
ITTF leadership will also speak at the welcome session kicking off their goals for the Summit and the full schedule. Immediately following the welcome session will be a panel discussion entitled “Growing the Table Tennis Industry.”
Special attention will be paid on the growth of World Table Tennis as the commercial arm of the ITTF Group, and how the sport has innovated the way it is presented drawing top tier athletes to a professional circuit.
“As will be reported in the finances, 2022 will be a record in terms of revenues for the ITTF Group,” said ITTF Group CEO Steve Dainton. “This is the result of bold reforms, harmonious leadership and full teamwork between the elected officials and professional staff. Our previous record was in 2019 with 23 million in revenues and a full calendar of events. This year, we will record revenues of almost 35 million! This growth is extraordinary and massive – especially 2022 was still a difficult year. Table Tennis is on the right way for growth, and we cannot wait for the year 2023.”
The panel will also look at the rise of how athletes have marketed themselves and how their journeys fit into this industry growth, with Sharath Kamal Achanta, Chair of the ITTF Athletes’ Commission, Claudia Herweg, President of German Table Tennis Association, He Xiao, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Table Tennis Association.
Future World Championships Hosts Selected
This morning, just before the Summit opens, the ITTF Board of Directors met to make some key decisions about the hosts for future events.
The board awarded Nova Gorica, Slovenia and Helsingborg, Sweden hosting rights for the World Youth Championships in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Both events will carry the championships’ vibrant history as the ultimate platform for up-and-coming players from all over the world to compete and show their skills.
Slovenia will provide a strong foundation for next year’s championships, having been actively involved in the development of elite youth table tennis, hosting several key events in the WTT Youth Series. As 2024 host, Helsingborg will provide a fitting location for the stars of tomorrow in a country with a rich tradition of table tennis legends.
The board also selected Roma, Italy as the host for the ITTF 2024 World Veteran Championships.
As the ITTF Summit gets under way in full on 5 December, the following sessions will mark a robust day of dialogue:
- Becoming a Leading International Federation
- The Sport of Table Tennis in 50 Years
- Sustainability, the Only Way Forward
- Events for All
- Home of Table Tennis
The ITTF Summit will concludes on 6 December with the Annual General Meeting. The detailed schedule is available here.