Following the devastating earthquakes that happened in Türkiye last month, the ITTF Group has activated its Emergency Relief Fund to make it available to the Turkish table tennis community. Established by the ITTF Foundation, it was set up to respond to disasters and provide financial aid to affected parties.
During the recent WTT Youth Contender that took place from 19 to 25 March at Antalya, Türkiye, several table tennis players, coaches and parents from the earthquake affected areas were invited to participate in the event, with all expenses such as accommodations and transport all paid for by tapping into the Emergency Relief Fund.
The Emergency Relief Fund received a donation from the Swaythling Club International as a form of support, and the organization also extended assistance to various players who participated in the event. Along with that, the National Olympic Council (NOC) and Ministry of Sports also provided aid.
ITTF President Petra Sörling and ITTF Foundation Director Leandro Olvech also attended the event in Türkiye, showing the solidarity within the table tennis community. During their visit, they met with several players, coaches and parents to hear about their current predicament, reiterating that the ITTF Group was wholly committed to helping the nation overcome this difficult period.
Said Petra Sörling: “It has been incredibly moving to visit Türkiye and witness the resilience and determination of the Turkish people in the face of tragedy. The ITTF Group stands in solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and their families, and we are committed to supporting the table tennis family in this aftermath. The WTT Youth Contender event could take place as planned, and we hope that it has brought some joy to the table tennis and local communities. Sports has the power to bring people together even in difficult times.”
The ITTF Group has pledged to continue to stand in solidarity with counterparts from Türkiye and Syria, through its long-term concerted efforts in supporting the nation.