World Table Tennis Day 2019 celebrations a resounding successCelebration in Azerbaijan
A record-breaking 862 registered events in 104 countries, World Table Tennis Day 2019 truly lived up to its billing as a global celebration of sport in society.
In its fifth edition, the annual event held on 6 April, centres around bringing people together from all corners of the world to promote social inclusion through table tennis, in accordance with the vision of the award-winning programme TT4ALL.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the ITTF Foundation, together with Slum Ping Pong, staged this year's flagship event in Kampala, Uganda, using the sport to break barriers and develop positive messages on children's, girls' and women's rights.
Slum Ping Pong, which was also chosen among the projects to receive support from the ITTF Foundation via the TT Dream Building Fund, runs a table tennis club with over 100 children attending regularly.
From the capital to the countryside, celebrations extended across to the Uganda's Western rural district of Hoima in tandem with the Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs (HONECRIC), whose project is aimed at developing technical and life skills for children and youth.
Reaching out to approximately 8,000 kids in 70 schools across the region, the project is aimed at reducing early school dropout rates and encouraging the inclusion of children with and without disabilities through table tennis.
"The children love table tennis. They play it while saying out loud what they want to be when they grow up. This helps to foster discipline and determination," said Lloyd Birungi, HONECRIC Project Officer
Following the motto "Nothing is impossible for those who believe", Ibrahim Hamadtou, the Para Table Tennis champion and renowned Egyptian athlete who plays without hands, played an integral role in the site visits across Uganda, rallying with young people at the table tennis tables and encouraging them to pursue their dreams!