ETTU

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Developing Female Table Tennis the main goal for NETU and Sweden

Many countries in Europe share a common ambition in wishing to increase the number of female athletes and coaches in our sport.

The Swedish Table Tennis Association together with the North European Table Tennis Union (NETU), comprising Denmark, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Sweden, will try to address this issue with a newly created event, The NETU SUPERWEEK, scheduled for Halmstad, Sweden in August.

An eventful week awaits the participants with three events built into one concept fully designed to address gender equality and how to grow the number of female athletes and coaches in table tennis.

The week in Halmstad will feature one invitation tournament for the top players in the region, the Sweden Pro Series broadcasted live in Sweden, followed by a three day long training camp. During the final weekend an educational conference for officials runs neck to neck with two NETU Top 16 events for top female players and the U 15 (cadet ) category.

"In Sweden, as in many other European nations, we struggle to grow the number of females in our sport and now we really wanted to show that we will take this issue seriously. In NETU we have had several ongoing discussions about our regular common events, and the added value of conferences and training camps to the regular formula of "tournament only", is a way to address several issues that we all share. I am a firm believer that none of us is as strong as all of us and I know that there is so much competence in our table tennis family, so why not try to gather, cooperate and exchange knowledge and learn from each other. We all share a responsibility to develop table tennis in every aspect and this is an excellent way of working in a proactive way with two topics that really lie close to my heart – sustainability and equality between genders," said Petra Sörling, President of the Swedish Table Tennis Association.

Dates are set to 16-22 August and the event is open for the NETU countries and designed to host 32 female only players for the top 16 event – all of them will receive the invitational call for the three day preparation camp as part of the package. The coaches and officials are also involved in the educational conference over the weekend.

"We believe in the format to combine training camps, conferences and tournaments, especially since we all, more or less, share the same challenges when it comes to female table tennis. Of course not all the players and coaches in such an event will be on the same level – but we will put the focus on learning from each other to create the best possible outcomes for all the participating countries. This is only the beginning of fruitful cooperation and I am also happy that the ETTU Development Program is onboard with support. We hope to impress with this event concept and who knows, maybe we can expand the circles of invitations to cover more countries next time around," said Swedish Table Tennis Association High Performance Director, Mikael Andersson.

The prospectus has been circulated to the member associations. The Swedish Table Tennis Association is of course fully aware of the current pandemic situation but our hopes are tied to a strong belief that things will be much more stable in August and that we will all finally be able to meet again.

 

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