29 Nov 2023

The ITTF World Youth Championships 2023 in Nova Gorica witnessed a significant milestone in the pursuit of clean sport and youth education thanks to the collaborative efforts of the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). 

Dedicated to upholding the core values of fairness and integrity within table tennis, an extensive Anti-Doping Education programme was orchestrated. Spearheaded by ITA Education Ambassador Jernej Damjan OLY, a celebrated former professional ski jumper with a rich Olympic legacy representing Slovenia, the programme proved to be both engaging and enlightening. Emphasising ITTF’s steadfast commitment to educating and engaging young athletes, this initiative reinforces the Federation’s dedication to instilling ethical values from an early age. 

A standout feature was Jernej’s dynamic presentation on clean sport, which took place on November 28th at 16:30 in the designated Conference Room at the Primary School Milojka Strukelj. With an audience comprising over 40 players and coaches, the session was meticulously designed to seamlessly blend education and entertainment. Jernej’s interactive approach included quizzes that captivated the young participants while imparting essential knowledge on crucial Anti-Doping topics. 

The participation of athletes elevated the learning experience. India’s Jennifer Varghese took centre stage, offering a live demonstration of the doping test process. Additionally, Germany’s Annett Kaufmann volunteered, actively engaging in the session to grasp the complexities of prohibited and permitted substances. 

ITTF President Petra Sörling, emphasising the imperative of ensuring clean and fair competition to preserve the essence of the sport, stated, “Educating our youth is pivotal in upholding these values. Instilling clean sport principles from an early age empowers them with informed choices, nurturing a culture of integrity. It was heartening to witness the youth actively participating and enjoying a meaningful educational experience. This collective effort reinforces our dedication to maintaining table tennis as a clean sport.” 

The fruitful collaboration between ITA and ITTF in delivering this comprehensive Anti-Doping Education programme reflects their shared commitment to promoting clean sport and shaping ethical athletes for the future of table tennis. 

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