ITTF Foundation Cup: Uniting for a good cause!

In the vibrant week of the European Table Tennis Championships in Malmö, Sweden, a remarkable event unfolded. The ITTF Foundation, in collaboration with the Swedish Table Tennis Association (STTA) and powered by STIGA, hosted the ITTF Foundation Cup. This gathering celebrated how the sport of table tennis can be used to inspire and create a better life.

Embracing a Vision of Inclusivity

The event began with Petra Sörling, the President of the ITTF Foundation, sharing the organization's vision and mission. Central to the Foundation's purpose is a commitment to "Table Tennis. For all. For a better life." Sustainability is a key aspect of this mission, aligning with global efforts for a brighter future. She emphasized the importance of making table tennis more sustainable and promoting diversity and inclusion, ensuring the sport's accessibility to all.

A Warm Welcome from the Swedish Table Tennis Association

Thomas Buza, the Secretary-General of the STTA, extended a heartfelt welcome to all the guests and provided insights into the event's agenda. Right from the beginning, the attendees understood the purpose of this gathering; uniting the table tennis community and inspiring them to come together for a good cause.

The World Table Tennis for Health Festival

Leandro Olvech, the Director of the ITTF Foundation, presented the World Table Tennis for Health Festival being held from 1st to 5th November in Crete, Greece. He then gave the floor to Elisabeth 'Lizzi' Ildal to share her inspiring journey of using table tennis to combat Parkinson's disease. Her story resonated with attendees, illustrating how the sport can be a powerful tool for physical and mental well-being.

A meet and greet to remember!

The evening continued with a meet and greet session with the Swedish Table Tennis Men's National team. This highlighted the potential of table tennis to bridge the worlds of sport for development and high-performance athletics.

STTA empowering youth through Table Tennis

Louise Källström from STTA introduced the Ping Pong Power project, a collaboration with the local government aimed at using table tennis to empower the youth. This innovative project showcases how the platform and power of table tennis can be harnessed to inspire and uplift young lives. They also spoke about Sweden’s first Girl Festival held in Halmstad which was extremely successful.

A Global Sport for Development Partnership for Sustainability

Another significant announcement was the partnership between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the ITTF Foundation. This partnership will leverage the global reach of table tennis to promote sustainability in sports while addressing societal challenges and promoting SDGs. It signifies a commitment to using sport as a vehicle for positive change on a global scale.

Action on the Table

Maria Christoforaki led the tournament management, giving attendees the chance to participate in the Foundation Cup through a lucky draw or by earning their spot through unique table tennis challenges. STTA staff and volunteers organized engaging activities that brought the crowd closer to the sport. Once the draw was made, select attendees had the opportunity to team up with table tennis stars, legends, and champions, making it an unforgettable experience.

Honoring Galia Dvorak for her work!

A special moment during the event was the formal recognition of Galia Dvorak as an ITTF Foundation Ambassador. She is a legend of the game and Deputy General of the ETTU and at the Foundation Cup her outstanding contributions to the ITTF Foundation were celebrated. Her commitment exemplifies the power of individuals within the table tennis community to drive positive change.

Celebrating the winners!

The winners and runners-up of the competition were rewarded with mini table tennis tables, generously donated by STIGA. This unique event also had the support of the European Table Tennis Championships 2023 title sponsor, STUPA analytics, who provided merchandise to attendees. The event's success was made possible by the collective efforts of everyone involved.

The ITTF Foundation Cup was about showcasing how this sport can inspire positive change and how it can create a real difference. It demonstrated that when the table tennis community unites with a shared vision, they can truly make a difference in the world. Through sustainability, inclusivity, and the power of the sport, the ITTF Foundation is lighting the way towards a brighter future and showing how table tennis can change people's lives!

Click here to know more about the World Parkinson's Table Tennis Championships

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