02 Nov 2023

The expanded event aims to amplify the global appeal of the World Parkinson's Championships

The ITTF Foundation has officially inaugurated the first-ever World Table Tennis For Health Festival on the picturesque island of Crete, Greece. Drawing participants from across the globe, the festival serves as a platform for discussions and shared experiences, highlighting the myriad health benefits associated with table tennis practice.

Running from November 1 to 5, the World Table Tennis For Health Festival aims to spotlight the positive impact of table tennis on various communities, showcasing the scientifically proven enhancements to social, mental, and physical well-being through regular play. Notably, the sport exhibits beneficial effects for individuals grappling with cognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, offering a blend of physical and mental engagement to assist in managing the degenerative effects of these conditions.

The festival’s centerpiece includes the prestigious World Parkinson’s Championships, complemented this year by the introduction of the World Alzheimer’s Championships. Breaking new ground, the event welcomes a male and female duo from South Africa, selected during the ITTF World Championships 2023 in Durban, marking the first African participants in this esteemed competition—a testament to the festival’s global reach. Catch the live streaming of the event here.

In addition to the championships, Crete will host the World Table Tennis For Health Congress—an interactive platform facilitating the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas aimed at promoting better health through the beloved sport. Diverse activities throughout the festival will illustrate how individuals of all ages and abilities can seamlessly incorporate table tennis into their daily routines, reaping the associated health benefits. Registration for attendees is still open here.

Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “The success of the World Parkinson’s Championships in recent years underscores the significance of table tennis to these communities. Expanding the 2023 edition to include Alzheimer’s patients and establishing a comprehensive health-centered festival aligns perfectly with the mission of the ITTF Foundation. We are dedicated to showcasing these remarkable players and promoting broader community values centered around a health-focused approach to table tennis. Gratitude to the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation for hosting the event and collaborating with us to bring this festival to life.”

For more information, please visit the ITTF Foundation website.

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