ITTF Foundation team at World Masters Championships Rome 2024

Two players with Parkinson’s represent the ITTF Foundation at the World Masters Rome 2024

Continuing the theme of 'Diversity and Inclusion' and as a legacy of the 2023 World Table Tennis for Health Festival, the ITTF Foundation is proud to form a team represented by two players with Parkinson's for the first time at the ITTF World Masters Championships Rome 2024. The event will take place from July 6 to July 14 at the Rome Exhibition Center, where the two representative players of the Foundation team will compete among over 6000 other athletes.

The two players, Steve Morley and Agnes Jan, were chosen through a raffle at the 2023 World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships in Greece. Both have been living with Parkinson’s disease and have combated its symptoms through table tennis for years. They will showcase their spirit of resilience and determination to overcome health constraints at the ITTF World Masters Championships Rome 2024, demonstrating how the sport can break barriers and inspire others facing similar challenges.

(Left to right: ITTF & ITTF Foundation President – Petra Sörling, Steve Morley, Agnes Jan, ITTF Foundation Director – Leandro Olvech)

This initiative aims to promote Diversity and Inclusion within the global table tennis community, aligning with the ITTF Group's focus for 2024 and 2025. It also targets achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, particularly Target 3.4, which focuses on good health and well-being. We call for everyone's support to foster this good cause and contribute to positive social change through table tennis by donating to these two players on their journey to the World Masters in Rome.

We extend our special appreciation to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the Italian Table Tennis Federation (FITET) for providing the platform of the World Masters Championships Rome 2024.

Steve Morley

Steve Morley from Scotland, diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2018, has transformed his life through table tennis. To combat his symptoms, Steve rediscovered his teenage passion for the sport in 2021 after a 40-year hiatus. Playing five days a week has improved his physical well-being and provided social connections. His dedication shines through his participation in various competitions for Parkinson's or non-Parkinson's players, including the Scottish Parkinson's International Open and the ITTF Parkinson's World Championships in Crete. Now, aiming for the ITTF World Masters Rome 2024 representing the ITTF Foundation, he is ready to demonstrate how table tennis can change lives.

Read more about Steve’s life story (click here) and support him in spreading a message of resilience and hope during his journey to Rome.

Agnes Jan

Agnes Jan from Austria was diagnosed with Parkinson's in May 2019. Her regular involvement in table tennis since 2023 has opened new horizons for her, allowing her to manage her condition and engage with the wider world. Despite the battle against cancer and enduring persistent pain over the years, Agnes never gave up. She joined her husband's table tennis club in January 2023, noticing immediate improvements in her movement and a reduced need for medication. Competing in the World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships in 2023, Agnes won two silver medals, boosting her confidence and determination to continue the sport, slow the progression of her disease, and make friends worldwide. Now, she is preparing for the ITTF World Masters Championships Rome 2024, aiming to inspire others with Parkinson's and raise awareness of early diagnosis and treatment.

Read more about Agnes’ life story (click here) and support her in showcasing the spirit of overcoming life’s barriers on her journey to Rome.

Supported by

Kit Sponsor

Contribution to the Global Goals

Target 3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.