21 Mar 2024

ITTF Development is pleased to announce this year’s call for applications for two prestigious grants aimed at nurturing athletes' talent and fostering excellence in table tennis – the 2024 ITTF Continental Youth Grants and the 2024 ITTF PTT Athlete Grant. The grants are available to athletes in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

Continental Youth Grants

The ITTF aims to assist Member Associations in developing their athletes by contributing to their training and participation in international youth events. This is achieved by identifying and supporting talented athletes and offering financial and technical assistance, as well as international exposure through participation in the WTT Youth Series.

In 2023, 43 athletes were provided assistance to aid their training and involvement in global events: 31 athletes from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania through the Continental Youth Grants program, and 12 athletes who received grants from the European Scholarships initiative as a component of the European Development Program.

The achievements of Youth Grant recipients in 2023 were plentiful. USA’s Sally Moyland led the list of outstanding results amongst the grant holders, winning gold at the WTT Youth Contender Charleston, silver at the WTT Youth Contender Havirov and Puerto Princesa, and becoming the U19 Youth PanAm Champion. Staying in the Americas, Hamilton Yamane (BRA) won the WTT Youth Contender in Asuncion, and Nandan Naresh (USA) clinched the win at the WTT Youth Contender in Mosquera and was a finalist at the WTT Youth Contender Charleston and the ITTF Pan American Youth U19 boys event.

Benyamin Faraji (IRI)

African Youth Grant holder Amir Essid from Tunisia won silver in the U13 boys event at the WTT Youth Contender Szombathely, while in Asia, Benyamin Faraji (IRI) took a sweap of gold medals in several WTT YC events: the U19 & U17 titles at Batumi and Jezzine, and the U15 crown at Sulaymaniyah, Amman and Almaty. Compatriot Baran Arjmand (IRI) secured a silver medal at the WTT YC Batumi and Jezzine (U17), while Abdulrahman Altaher (KSA) won the silver medal in the U13 boys category at the WTT YC in Al Ain and Amman. In Oceania, Won Bae (AUS) claimed the title at the 2023 Oceania Youth Championships, while fellow Australian Finn Luu reached the final of the 2023 ITTF Oceania Cup and the ITTF Oceania Championships respectively.

In Europe, Nina Guo Zheng (FRA) won gold in the U15 mixed doubles and silver in the Girls’ U15 event at the 2023 European Youth Championships, while Bianca Mei Rosu (ROU) reached the semifinals in the Girls’ U19. At the same championships, Danilo Faso (ITA) reached the semifinal in the Boys’ U15 doubles, having won the boys’ singles title at the European U13 Championships a month before.

Bianca Mei Rosu (ROU)

“The Continental Youth Grants are a successful initiative that helps to raise the level of our talented players by allowing them to benefit from training abroad and WTT tournaments like Amir Essid and Mariam Brahimi in 2023. Our federation has benefited from this initiative in previous years, with athletes like Youssef Aidli, Alaa Al Saidi and Maram  Zaghlami, which encourages our young athletes to achieve outstanding results” Ghazi Benkahia (TUN National Coach)

In 2024, the selection of athletes runs through an online application process and follows specific criteria such as the latest Youth World Ranking (week of the application deadline), athletes’ participation and performance in the events in 2023 and the athletes’ training and competition plan for 2024.

PTT Athlete Grants

The aim of the Para Table Tennis (PTT) Athlete Grant is to provide dedicated support to promising and talented PTT athletes worldwide, empowering them to excel in their training and competition endeavors, especially prior to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. The initiative aims to improve their training routines, elevate their performance standards, and promote greater involvement in significant international ITTF PTT-endorsed competitions and global training camps throughout 2024.

In 2023, 12 PTT Athletes (8 female and 4 male) from 8 MAs (EGY, NGR, USA, COL, BRA, IRQ, MAS, KSA) benefited from the grant. These beneficiaries used the support to participate in a total of 8 International ITTF-PTT sanctioned events and one training camp abroad. PTT Grant holders achieved outstanding results, including Christiana Ikpeoyi (NGR) and Olatunji Ogunkunle (NGR), who won the Africa PTT Championships and qualified for the Paris Paralympic Games. Eduardo Freire (BRA) and Manuela Guzman (COL) won gold and silver medals in their respective classes at the 2023 ITTF Copa Tango Para Open, as well as gold at the 2023 Youth Parapan American Games.

Christiana Ikpeoyi (NGR)

“I am so grateful to the ITTF for the opportunity to participate in the international ITTF sanctioned events. We were lacking international exposure, and the grants supported me to prepare for such big events like the ITTF PTT African Championships” Christiana Ikpeoyi (NGR), PTT Grant holder

“I would like to thank the ITTF for the PTT Grants initiative. I benefited a lot from the grant in my training camp in Egypt, where I was able to advance my performance through several training sessions and exposure to different players. It was a valuable experience for me.” Maryam Almyrisl (KSA)

In 2024, the selection of athletes will be run through an online application process following specific criteria like the PTT World Ranking (March 2024), PTT athletes’ performance at ITTF-sanctioned events, i.e. ITTF Fa20 events, ITTF Fa40 events in 2023, and will be considering their 2024 activity plan that needs to be submitted as part of the application process.

Member Associations have been invited to select and propose four athletes, two boys and two girls for the 2024 Continental Youth Grants and four PTT athletes for the 2024 Para Table Tennis Athlete Grant, preferably 2 men and 2 women. To benefit from the incentives and learn more about eligibility and application requirements, kindly contact your respective ITTF Member Association.

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