Around the Globe on World Table Tennis Day 2021

Over 20 sessions, across 24 time zones. With the 24-hour livestream we celebrated the 7th World Table Tennis Day (WTTD) in style. As the FEMpowerment campaign draws attention to female empowerment this year, an agenda surrounded the theme has left our community feeling inspired and the pandemic on the bench.

The best revenge is living well they say. Despite Covid-19 is making the world feeling stranded, April 6th 2021 was a day packed with actions and hot-head nostalgia. Olympic athletes sharing their tested home-workouts and game strategies, while professional coaches let off their secrets to how to manage stress and boost table tennis involvement in physical challenged communities. The faint-hearted table tennis lovers had the chance to indulge the historical matches, as inspiring female role models shared their experience and motivation in the pursuit of gender equality in the sport’s world.
Just when you thought we couldn’t have done more in our celebration for WTTD 2021, here are some highlight events around the world that we’re honoured and happy to be a part of.

Happy participants in Comoros

In Ecuador, where table tennis knows no gender

What’s a better name for a FEMpowerment campaign than “She as a Leader”!
The project was born in-line with this year’s WTTD message, by the Ecuadorian Table Tennis Federation (FETM) to raise female participation in sports. On WTTD, an all-female panel discussion with athletes, sport psychologists was held where they talked about their experiences of being a female and a leader in the sport environment.

FETM is also our partner in the "My Gender. My Strength" Programme, introduced by ITTF Continental Development in 2019. 28 young female athletes from 8 different provinces in Ecuador took part in a series of lessons from professionals to combat gender inequality.

Photo courtesy of Betelhem Tilaye_Bett

In Argentina, where table tennis knows no age

Led by our dedicated local Promoter Omar Bentancor, a pilot project with a two-hour livestream with music, dance, and table tennis exhibitions was held on April. 6th. The lyrics were adapted and re-written to embrace the FEMpowerment message. But it was not just about fun! Omar used the opportunity and presented great examples of how different stakeholders in Argentina use table tennis to produce positive social change in their community.
You’d be wrong to think the event ends here. World champion Juan Pablo Castet also joined the event as the day finished with a symbolic, (inter)generational game, where female from age 10 to 70, regardless of the level all played together. “Table tennis has no limits and is accessible for everyone. We want to show that everyone can compete in table tennis, regardless of age and skill and ableness,” said Omar.
A day of music, dance, and table tennis! This is pretty close to, if not the perfect Latin American way to celebrate WTTD 2021!

Watch the Streaming in Argentina here (in Spanish)

From Jordan to Uganda, where table tennis knows no border

All ITTF TT Dream Building projects joined this year’s WTTD celebration. From the refugee camp in Za’atari to the Slums of Uganda or the Northern part of Ecuador, the WTTD spirit shone through the table tennis fields and upon those creative face paintings to celebrate the occasion. Other ideas including getting the parents to try table tennis, or a webinar on the future of sports for development have all made WTTD 2021 a day to remember.

Seems like we’ve done quite a bit this year on WTTD? Many of the events wouldn’t have been possible without our 47 World Table Tennis Day Promoters. They were our roots on the ground and sole connections to the local communities. WTTD is special, because our table tennis community is special!

In our journey to pursue solidarity and equality with table tennis, it is a day like World Table Tennis Day that we see our communities united. If you’ve missed this year’s awesome celebration, mark your calendar now for April 6 WTTD 2022!

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