Dear <<First Name>>,
Are you ready? This time next month, is your time to showcase your work and projects during the 2019 edition of World Table Tennis Day! Register your event and share your best practise with the world.
If you are still unsure what activity you wish to carry out on the day, here are a few ideas from the past weeks, where we presented different options which your event could be based on:
To add to the list, today we want to share with you ideas on how to use your event to promote peace through table tennis.
Nowadays, we can sadly see families, villages, towns, cities and countries facing violent conflict for reasons such as, resources, religion, politics and power. What if we all tried to change this within our local environment, before each conflict escalates?
As we have seen in the last newsletters, sport has the power to do great things and, according to UNICEF, this also offers an environment of normality in conflict areas.
Besides, it can help to:
- Offer children sense of security
- Support process of dispute resolution and confidence-building between communities, critical aspects for young people
- Build tolerance and bridges ethnic divides
- A safe and neutral space for communication
On a large scale, an example of the use of table tennis to reach understanding between two nations is Ping Pong Diplomacy in the 70’s, which marked the beginning of conversations between China and the United States.
In 1991 Ping Pong Diplomacy united North and South Korea at World Table Tennis Championships, in Chiba, Japan. On that occasion, Unified Korea’s women team won the gold medal. Again in 2018, at the World Table Tennis Team Championships, in Halmstad, Sweden. North and South Korea met in quarterfinals, but they joined forces and continued competing as Unified Korea. The partnership between these two nations continued in the 2018 ITTF World Tour.
Jang Woojin (South Korea) and Chan Hyo Sim (North Korea) as Unified Korea at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Incheon, South Korea - Photo: ITTF
We can apply Ping Pong Diplomacy in different contexts but with the same goals: understanding, union and peace. You are still on time to organise your event under the motto “TT4Peace”.
We don’t expect or need everyone to work on such a large scale. We know that Table Tennis won’t solve conflicts from one day to another, but we can make sure to transmit non-violent communication and peaceful resolution methods through our work thereby, offering small everyday solutions, to transform these conflicts peacefully.
We wish to bring your attention to a manual ITTF collaborated in building; the Adapted Sport Manual from Peace and Sport and bring special attention to page 103 for inspirations as to concrete simple exercises which you could carry out in your community and encourage collaboration, communication, teamwork and understanding of the other:
If you need ideas on basic activities you could adapt, check out this Table Tennis in Schools program manual from Australia.
Last but not least, get inspired by a project from last year’s April 6 event in Guatemala UVG 2018.
(2018 World Table Tennis Day, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala)
We hope the above gives you enough inspiration and maybe even encourages you to promote and create a new peace through table tennis activity! We look forward to hearing about your projects and activities.
To conclude in the words of Mahatma Gandhi once said: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”