The best revenge is to live well, they say. Although Covid-19 will make the world feel blocked, April 6e 2021 has been a day filled with action and searing nostalgia. Olympic athletes share their home workouts and tested playing strategies, while professional coaches revealed their secrets on how to deal with stress and boost table tennis participation in communities with reduced mobility. Shy-hearted table tennis fans got the chance to indulge in historic matches, as inspiring female role models shared their experience and motivation in the pursuit of gender equality across the globe.
Just when you thought we couldn’t have done more to celebrate WTTD 2021, here are some landmark events around the world that we’re honored and happy to be a part of.
In Ecuador, where table tennis knows no gender
What better name for a FEMpowerment campaign than “Her as a Leader”!
The project was born in line with this year’s WTTD message, by the Ecuadorian Table Tennis Federation (FETM) to increase women’s participation in sports. On WTTD, an all-female roundtable with athletes and sports psychologists was held where they spoke about their experiences as leaders in the sports environment.
FETM is also our partner in the campaign “My Gender. My Strength. ”Program, led by ITTF High Performance and Development. 28 young female athletes from eight different provinces of Ecuador participated in a series of professionally taught lessons to address gender inequalities.
In Argentina, where table tennis has no age
Led by our dedicated local promoter Omar Bentancor, a pilot project with a two hour live broadcast with music, dance and table tennis exhibits took place on April 6.e. The lyrics have been adapted and rewritten to embrace the FEMpowerment message. But it wasn’t just a matter of fun! Omar took the opportunity and presented excellent examples of how different stakeholders in Argentina are using table tennis to produce positive social change in their community.
You would be wrong to think that the event ended here. World champion Juan Pablo Castet also joined the event as the day ended with a symbolic (inter) generational game, where women aged 10 to 70, regardless of their level, all played together.
“Table tennis has no limits and is accessible to everyone. We want to show that everyone can compete in table tennis, regardless of their age, skills and abilities, ”Omar Bentancor.
A day of music, dancing and ping-pong! It’s pretty close, if not the perfect Latin American way to celebrate WTTD 2021!
From Jordan to Uganda, where table tennis knows no borders
All ITTF TT Dream Building projects have joined this year’s WTTD celebration. From the Za’atari refugee camp to the slums of Uganda or northern Ecuador, the spirit of WTTD shone through table tennis courts and on these creative face paintings to celebrate the occasion. Other ideas, like getting parents to try table tennis, or a webinar on the future of developmental sport, all made WTTD 2021 a day to remember.
Many events would not have been possible without our 47 World Table Tennis Day promoters. They were our roots in the field and our only links with local communities. WTTD is special because our table tennis community is special!
In our journey towards solidarity and equality with table tennis, it is a day like World Table Tennis Day that unites our community. If you missed this year’s celebration, mark your calendar now for April 6, 2022!