The World is Your Table Tennis Ball – How WTTD 2021 is Celebrated Around the Globe
Thanks to our dedicated organisers and Promoters, World Table Tennis Day 2021 (WTTD) ended in a high note. With FEMpowerment being the centre message this year, the Table Tennis community worldwide celebrated gender equality and inclusiveness with inspiring events on April 6th.
Khalil Al Mohannadi, ITTF Deputy President and Qatar Table Tennis Association President celebrated WTTD 2021 with the Table Tennis community in Doha this year and they were joined by the ITTF CEO Steve Dainton and ITTF Member Relations Director Mounir Bessah. The physical event was a success despite Covid-19, and made possible with the help from Aspetar, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital as well the White Army.
“It is with my great pleasure to celebrate World Table Tennis Day 2021 with you all here in Doha. As the ITTF Deputy President, I believe it’s crucial to stay active in Table Tennis promotions, whether as host of high performance competitions, or a festive celebration like the World Table Tennis Day. This is the day in which we show our love for Table Tennis, a sport that promotes solidarity and inclusiveness.”
Said Mr. Mohannadi in honouring the contribution of all organisers and participants.
Great to have DPR Korean joined our WTTD celebration for the first time! Embracing the FEMpowerment campaign, DPR Korea organised a female-only event to show how Table Tennis can help in empowering women and developing self-confidence.
Good thing came in pairs for the inspiring female entrepreneur Anneeliya Anniey on April 6th this year. She has dedicated 15 years of her career to promoting Table Tennis and had finally celebrated the grand opening of her club – Annieys Ping-Pong Club in Nepal. The club is solely financed by Anneeliya and was established to promote Table Tennis as an inclusive sport for all.
There was even a cake!
From Izmir to Malatya, the Turkish community showed us that Table Tennis can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.
In Malatya, our organiser Orhan Altaya set up the tables by the water, under a bridge, and in parks. Everyone was invited to play and enjoy the fun Table Tennis brings.
Sinan Muhurdaroglu and Ozge Guner hosted WTTD events in multiple cities close to Izmir including Allianoi, Asklepion, and Pergamos. To support the FEMpowerment campaign this year, girls and female participation was especially highlighted during the event. All participants shared their love for Table Tennis on April 6th, be it by ancient ruins or scenic castles. Thanks to the support of Izmir City Sports Directorate Murat Eskici, we could also enjoy the best moment of Izmir WTTD 2021 celebration captured by a drone.
Speaking of celebrating WTTD 2021 and playing Table Tennis in unimaginable places, read on what Konstantin Avanesov has done on April 6th that made Table Tennis almost an extreme sport. The community managed to set up a table on top of Derbent Fortress and everyone was invited to participate (if dare!). Although less emphasis on FEMpowerment, there was a tournament in wheelchairs to showcase the inclusiveness Table Tennis embraces.
Led by our Promoter and IOC Young Leader Mayssa Bsaibes and her sister Rita Bsaibes, a combination of digital and physical celebrations took place in Beirut for WTTD 2021. A 30-day digital campaign kick-started the celebration with engaging activities such as workouts, quizzes and talks with sport experts. At the main event on the April 6th, 15 girls affected by the Beirut harbour explosion were received in collaboration with NGO Arc en ciel; empowered to regain control through activities including games, exhibitions, and Table Tennis challenges.
How many times can you find the side edge of your equipment with a Ping Pong ball?
Our Irish community tried to answer the question by showing off their skills online and win a prize (still open for entry until April 13th if you are interested!). Interactive virtual challenges with women from all ages, live Woman in Sport Event, fun table tennis competitions… these were only a part of the fun as Ireland celebrated WTTD 2021. With the support of Table Tennis Ireland and Women In Sports Ireland, our Promoter Jing Yi Graham has dedicated an all-round female centric agenda to honour the FEMpowerment campaign this year.
Did you know that Table Tennis keeps your brain sharp and boosts creativity?
Slovakia went outside the box and celebrated WTTD 2021 on paper, literally. A drawing contest took place where colourful paintings vividly illustrated the versatility of Table Tennis.
It’s been exciting for us here at the ITTF Foundation as we continue to receive WTTD 2021 celebration updates from our community worldwide. We thank those who joined our mission and made April 6th a day to remember for us all. Got an idea for WTTD 2022? Keep an eye on our website for when to register your events!