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Hello <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our last newsletter of 2020! To wrap up this crazy year, we would like to look ahead to the next year and all the opportunities it holds – and of course the next World Table Tennis Day (WTTD)! April 6 is only a few months away now, and we would like to talk about how table tennis can be a break from our everyday lives and problems and offers a safe space. Get inspired by our sample case from Australia and their programme to introduce girls to table tennis.

Sport can be so much more than a hobby. Apart from high performance or possible career paths, practicing a sport such as table tennis offers a series of benefits that go beyond improved health and technical skills. Regularly playing can facilitate the integration of people from various social, economic, religious backgrounds into the community – while also bringing different genders together through the game and realise that players are equal.

Taking a break by getting active

Creating a safe space, an environment where the players feel comfortable in, where they can forget about their problems for a while and feel accepted and respected is an ideal for all table tennis clubs. Team practices can be a possibility to escape from difficulties at school, work or home for a while. A female coach could be, for example, a person especially young girls can confide in and look up to.

Sports play a vital role for females to boost self-confidence and improve their health – physically and mentally. However, girls and women are sometimes still presented with barriers that prevent them from fully engaging in table tennis.
A recurring problem in the world of sports is the lack of visibility of women. This results in a couple of effects:
  • Girls cannot identify themselves with the faces they see in sports media if they are predominantly male
  • They might feel like they cannot realise their dream of being a successful player
  • Especially young and adolescent girls might feel more comfortable with a female coach to talk about body issues or personal problems
  • Women can understand struggles or difficulties other women and girls experience from their personal experience

Spin it like a girl!

Spinneroos is Table Tennis Australia’s Junior programme in several locations in Australia. This year, they have launched Girls Spinneroos, allowing girls to participate in table tennis, develop table tennis skills and make friends in an emotionally safe environment. It also features female coaches. Girls Spinneroos took into consideration that sometimes girls (or their parents) may find it hard and intimidating to get into a gym full of unknown men and boys playing. This way, they can approach our beloved sport playfully and without feeling pressured or uncomfortable.
This programme aims at girls from 5 to 12 years old and provides the participants with clothing and equipment. Girls can develop their skills and build self-confidence in such an environment before joining the sport – and other players – fully. It does not only want to increase the number of female players, but also attract more female coaches. A smooth introduction to a club like this makes the integration process easier for beginners as they feel prepared with some skills and might already have made some friends along the way!

It's no racket science!

Have you heard about our WTTD Promoter Initiative yet? This is the perfect opportunity to promote female visibility and their involvement on all levels – as participants, players, coaches, umpires, organisers or administrators. We highly encourage that women be given the opportunity of being in charge and be nominated as Promoters for the upcoming WTTD 2021.

This way, you can offer meaningful possibilities to women and girls to take a more active role in table tennis. At the same time, girls will feel more empowered by seeing women in leading positions as role models and feel inspired to follow their lead. You can fill out the application here or send us an email at april6@foundation.ittf.com.

Feeling inspired but you have not registered your WTTD event yet? What are you waiting for? Head over to our website to get started, you can register your event here.
We wish you all the best for the last weeks of 2020 and look forward to seeing you in the new year to join you in the planning and organising for your WTTD event. Keep staying positive and testing negative!
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