Nepal, April 7, 2016: The centerpiece of yesterday’s (6 April) World Table Tennis Day, “Table Tennis for NepALL” held in Kathmandu, was a massive success, with large crowds turning out at the event to celebrate table tennis.
The Table Tennis for NepALL Project’s main aim is to develop the practice of playing Table Tennis among people with a disability in Nepal. The ceremony yesterday also inaugurated the newly renovated Para Table Tennis Training Centre in Kathmandu (damaged by last year’s earthquake), and celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT, who was the guest-of-honour at the ceremony, stated: “Table Tennis is not only a question of competition, as we have seen here, we can make a big difference in people’s life using our sport for development and peace, in this case, improving the conditions of children with a disability. “
“Today we inaugurated the newly renovated training center for para-athletes damaged by the earthquake, it has been financed by the government of the Republic of Korea through the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace but I am proud to say that the table tennis family also contributed financially, The ITTF, together with its six Continental Table Tennis Federations. That clearly shows that we are one sport one family, supporting those in crisis, in this case created by a natural disaster.” continued the ITTF President.
UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried LEMKE echoed Mr. WEIKERT’s thoughts:
“What a great way to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the World Table Tennis Day today, on April 6, through the launching of the Table Tennis for NepALL project and the inauguration of the newly renovated Para Table Tennis Training Centre. The International Olympic Committee, the United Nations and the International Table Tennis Federation put words into action by promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities and bringing back hope after a disaster.”
ITTF Development Director Leandro Olvech added: “I am delighted with the inauguration of the Table Tennis for NepALL project, it is not only a three years project to promote Para Table Tennis, but also combined with the renovation of their training center, that included the building of accessible bathrooms, which might not be important in other countries, but being in the National Rehabilitation Center, it should be a must, and now they have them through this project.”
The Table Tennis for NepALL is a close partnership of ITTF, UNOSDP, Nepal Disabled Table Tennis Association and All Nepal Table Tennis Association. The All Nepal Table Tennis Association was rewarded last night when Mr. WEIKERT announced that the ITTF’s Dream Building program would support the renovation of the National Training Centre
Overall, the World Table Tennis day is being a great success, even bigger than last year. So far there has been 166 registered events in 74 countries that have all sent out the message that table tennis is popular, universal and inclusive sport! —- ITTF