The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Executive Board, in a historic move, has paved the way for a groundbreaking event as they announced an inaugural VR Table Tennis World-Title Event scheduled for 2024.
Embracing the digital transformation and acknowledging the evolving landscape of sports, the ITTF is set to revolutionise table tennis, bringing forth an innovative experience that transcends traditional boundaries.
The ITTF will now actively seek partners to collaborate in delivering a spectacular VR Table Tennis event in the second half of 2024. This initiative aligns with the ITTF’s commitment to being at the forefront of the Olympic Movement, with an eye on potential inclusion in the International Olympic Committee’s exploration of Olympic Esports Games.
VR Table Tennis gained international recognition when it was featured as an exhibition sport at the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. This milestone affirmed the sport’s growing prominence in the competitive gaming arena, foreshadowing its ascension to a global stage.
Commenting on this announcement, ITTF President and IOC Member Petra Sörling stated, “VR Table Tennis represents an integral part of the ITTF’s mission to elevate the profile of table tennis worldwide. By embracing Esports and constant innovation, we are shaping the future of table tennis, taking it to new heights.”
“The success of the Olympic Esports Series and the perspective of Olympic Esports Games inspired us to expedite our efforts, ensuring that we are well-prepared and experienced to contribute significantly to future Esports events,” President Sörling added.
Decade-Defining Decision at Lausanne Meeting
This momentous decision was officially approved during a meeting of the ITTF Executive Board, held in Lausanne, Switzerland on 6-7 December 2023. ITTF was invited to the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they received a warm welcome from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
Leading the delegation was ITTF President and IOC Member Petra Sörling, accompanied by IOC Member Ryu Seungmin, Executive Board Members, Chairs of the ITTF Athletes Commission, and senior staff. The productive dialogue between the ITTF and the IOC marks a significant stride towards fortifying the ongoing partnership between the two organisations.
Chairs of the ITTF Athletes Commission, Sharath Kamal Achanta, Liu Shiwen, and Singapore’s most decorated Olympian Feng Tianwei, left their mark by signing the Olympians Wall and were honoured with OLY certificates of recognition by President Bach.
Chengdu Shines as Host for ITTF Mixed Team World Cup
The ITTF Executive Board received a highly positive update on the ongoing ITTF Mixed Team World Cup held in Chengdu. The event has garnered high praise from all members, who were particularly impressed with the prominent display of gender equality, the collaborative spirit within the sport, and the excellent organisation of the event.
The newly introduced Mixed Team format has proven to be a resounding success, earning the unanimous confidence and approval of the Executive Board. The members expressed their belief in its potential to become a new classic, not only for table tennis competitions but also for international multisport events.
ITTF Embraces Diversity & Inclusion Theme for 2024-2025
The ITTF Group, comprising the ITTF as the governing body, World Table Tennis as the commercial entity, and the ITTF Foundation as the humanitarian organisation, has declared 2024-2025 as the “Diversity and Inclusion” theme years.
Encouraging positive social change and emphasising togetherness, harmony, and inclusiveness, the ITTF Group calls upon its entities to incorporate “Diversity and Inclusion” in all projects. World Table Tennis Day 2024, celebrated on 23 April, will also echo this theme, showcasing the pivotal role of table tennis in fostering these values within communities.
Promoters interested in hosting an event on World Table Tennis Day can apply here. The deliberate focus underscores the importance of promoting these values in communities and the role that table tennis plays in achieving this goal.