Hi <<First Name>>,
Welcome to the start of our countdown to the 7th World Table Tennis Day (WTTD)!
We are pleased to have you back for another round of celebrations and warmly welcome those of you who plan to host a WTTD 2021 event for the first time. This newsletter comes out bi-weekly and we intend to keep you up to date with the latest developments, help you prepare YOUR WTTD 2021 event and, most importantly, talk to you about some aspects related to this edition’s theme: FEMpowerment.
Have you heard about our new WTTD Promoter campaign yet? We want to offer YOU a chance to step up your WTTD 2021 event to support girls and women through table tennis. The Promoter package includes 250 € to cover costs for the organisation, a clothing kit and a certificate. Applications are open until November 1, so click here to find out more and to fill out the application!

Not only do we want to come together to share and celebrate our passion for table tennis on April 6, but would also like to take this opportunity to use our beloved sport to address on‑going issues that affect us all. One circumstance that has clearly coined the year 2020 and brought humanity closer together in the efforts of finding solutions through collaboration and offering each other a helping hand is the still on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Since its first detection almost a year ago, it has severely influenced and disrupted the normal functioning of communities around the globe, and it continues to proliferate indiscriminately.
Outbreaks of diseases like Covid-19 are a threat to everybody’s health. Women and girls are, however, disproportionately affected because the very measures taken to protect the people and keep health systems running often leave them in an even more vulnerable position. Let us introduce you to some of the hidden effects of Covid-19 on gender inequality.
Cases of gender-based and domestic violence have skyrocketed since the outbreak of the new virus. Even before the pandemic, 1 out of 3 women has experienced sexual and/or physical violence at some point in their lives. Due to hygiene and safety precautions, factors such as cramped living conditions, movement restrictions, and general tension due to e.g. financial concerns can further increase the risk for domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, or other forms of gender-based violence. It can also lead to women and girls being isolated with their abusers at home. This shows the importance of support systems that seek to prevent and respond to such types of violence, for example women shelters, sexual and reproductive health services or help hotlines. It must be guaranteed to operate in uncertain times like a global pandemic – this also includes services for those living in displacement, such as refugee camps.
Tip: Safe spaces are important. Make sure that girls and women have somebody or a space where they feel safe, respected and supported – a place they can turn to in times of need like your WTTD venue. This could also be the peers in table tennis training or a coach!
Why not use your WTTD event to raise awareness about the heightened risk of gender-violence during Covid-19? Spread some tips for coping with stress at homes and encourage taking action if somebody you know or you suspect is experiencing violence. Social isolation, quarantine and distancing can affect psychological well-being. Keeping routines and making time for physical activities can help to reduce stress!

While it is important to understand their vulnerability during humanitarian and health crises, it is crucial not to stereotype women and girls as inherently weak and vulnerable.
Women and girls bring vital skills, resources and experiences to the table and they must be able to contribute to the decisions and actions that affect their lives, too. They are among the first responders to crises such as Covid-19, playing an essential role in ensuring the survival of communities. Did you know that, globally, women form 70% of worker in the health sector force? Not only do they help as frontline health workers; they also support our society and families as caregivers at home or as mobilizers in the community. Yet, women and girls are too often invisible to decision-makers.
Emerging data reveals that girls and women are suffering greatly form the pandemic’s impact. They are losing jobs, educational opportunities, and access to critical health in growing numbers. Due to Covid-19-closures, nearly 743 million girls were out of school at the end of March. While many continue with their education once their schools re-opened, others never returned due to financial and opportunity costs or having to help their families out with domestic work or care.
Tip: Use the WTTD 2021 and your event to help this cause! You could organise a fundraiser event and the proceeds could help pay school fees, transportation costs to and from school or school supplies for those in need. Participants of your event could make a donation and receive a lesson from the local table tennis instructor. Or you could organise a tournament where teams need to pay an entry fee or raise a minimum to participate to reach a collective goal. This way, you could involve your whole community! Get creative!
The impacts of Covid-19 will be widespread, longstanding and probably generational. We cannot risk reversing and losing progress that has been made in the last decades. In order to allow for a better post-pandemic world – a world with gender-equality, health, well-being and dignity for all – we must ensure that those most impacted by Covid-19 are not forgotten.
What can you do?
Sports like table tennis are an amazing tool to make a change – they can teach lessons about equality, teamwork, resilience or fairness. It puts opposition into a positive framework and helps to develop focus, drive and passion. Especially in times like these, table tennis programmes are highly helpful in reducing social isolation, particularly for women and girls coming from backgrounds such as poverty or displacement. It allows them to emerge from confining communities or families. Table tennis is a chance to see their potential, so let’s use it.
Where to start?
Share your experience during Covid-19 with us and tell us if you have found creative solutions to tackle or address some of the obstacles described. Show and tell us who your female hero has been during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we can share your story and inspire other WTTD organisers.
You haven’t had these experiences or don’t know how to tackle them? Don’t worry! Start by analysing the situation in your community, think about what you want to change – or simply ask the women and girls what they feel needs to be changed! In the upcoming newsletters, we will give you tips and tools for how to contribute to gender equality with the use of table tennis!
Keep staying positive and testing negative!
The team of the World Table Tennis Day wishes you a happy organising. Please feel free to contact us in case of questions, comments or remarks. We will be happy to read you:
Copyright © 2020 ITTF Foundation, All rights reserved.

Richard-Wagner-Str. 10 - 04109 Leipzig - Germany

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