The ITTF Foundation announced today that World Table Tennis Day 2023 will bring the table tennis community together in a commitment to and celebration of sustainability, under the slogan “Think sustainably, act now”.
World Table Tennis Day is when the table tennis community celebrate the sport, as well as the universality and social inclusiveness it represents. It’s a day that captures the joy of playing table tennis for fun, bringing people together, focusing less on competition, more on participation and enjoyment, while showing how table tennis is a force for good in the world.
After the last three World Table Tennis Days focusing on keeping table tennis going during Covid-19, gender equality, and peaceful conflict resolution, this edition builds on hybrid efforts to launch a bright future for Table Tennis and its sustainable, inclusive future.
“When I was elected to lead the ITTF, I pledged to make sustainability a key part of my mandate,” Petra Sörling, ITTF President said of this year’s theme. “Our federation oversees a global sport, so it is very important that we lead the way in being stewards for managing our footprint to drive change in the world. This year’s World Table Tennis Day will build on the ITTF signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and continue the fight against climate change.”
Programming for World Table Tennis Day 2023 will be available on the ITTF Foundation website soon, along with calls for promoters for the event. The ITTF Foundation calls on all Member Associations, clubs, and other members of the table tennis family to participate with their own sustainable projects to ensure World Table Tennis Day 2023 is a success.
The theme for World Table Tennis was announced during the ITTF Summit in Amman, Jordan during a session on sustainability and the future of the federation. Discussions at the ITTF Summit have included the entire table tennis family gathering for the first time in over two years.
The ITTF Foundation also announced that from 2023, World Table Tennis Day will be celebrated on a new date: 23 April. The new date is significant in the long history of the federation. 23 April is the birthdate of Ivor Montagu, organiser of the first World Table Tennis Championships in 1926, and the founder and first president of the ITTF.
This change comes at a time when the ITTF is preparing for its centenary. The ITTF is immensely proud of its history, looking for ways to showcase it more while it continues in its mission to grow the game worldwide.
Previously, the date was held on April 6 to coincide with International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Moving the date to later in April will help maximize the reach of World Table Tennis Day, while allowing for more partner organisations to help join in efforts to spread the word of new sustainable efforts.
“Since 2015, World Table Tennis Day has been a wonderful opportunity to encourage the table tennis community to use our sport to create positive change, celebrating on a new day will only strengthen this goal,” Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director, said. “Shifting celebrations to later in April will also allow the ITTF Foundation to find new ways to be engaged on the UN’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. We look forward to maximizing our opportunities for both days while delivering positive change for the world.”