TT world coming together to help Nepal
Following the terrible earthquake in Nepal last week, a ceremony was staged during the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, to show table tennis’s support to the Nepal Table Tennis Team. Support was provided from various sources including th
Following the terrible earthquake in Nepal last week, a ceremony was staged during the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, to show table tennis’s support to the Nepal Table Tennis Team.
Support was provided from various sources including the ITTF Athletes’ Commission, Continental Federation Presidents, National Associations as well as the United Nations Sport for Development and Peace, and the International Table Tennis Federation.
The main theme of the ceremony was players supporting players.“We can only imagine how difficult it is, of course, to the team and also to their country”, said Vladimir SAMSONOV, Chair of the ITTF Athletes’ Commission. He organized signed shirts from the world’s leading players to be donated to Nepal and received an offer from Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE to conduct a coaching session. “We are with them in their grief”, added Vladimir SAMSONOV. “You can still feel the sadness in here.”
Thomas WEIKERT, ITTF President, having already sought out the Nepalese earlier in the week, again expressed the condolences of the entire ITTF family, and stated his commitment to personally join them for the opening of the UNOSDP Project in November this year.
Additionally, the Presidents of all six Continental Federations – CAI Zhenhua (Asia), Khaled EL-SALHY (Africa), Ronald KRAMER (Europe), Juan VILA (Latin America), Tony KIESENHOFER (North America), and James MORRIS (Oceania) – agreed to donate a combined sum of US$ 10,000 to help with relief of Nepalese players and their families.
The International Table Tennis Federation and UNOSDP are to launch in the November a three year project worth over US$ 100,000 for the development of para table tennis in Nepal.
Young Sam MA, Co-chair of the UN International Working Group on People with Disabilities, himself an International Umpire, umpiring here in Suzhou was there to announce the support.
“We feel deeply sorry for the tragedy in Nepal; I was in Kathmandu last December to prepare a the project,” said Leandro OLVECH, the ITTF Development Director. “What we do today is just a small gesture to show that we’re with them; not only today, but also in the next three years by running a long term project.”
“The heart of the table tennis family is with the Nepalese inhabitants”, added Leandro OLVECH. “We give a small gesture and we will see what happens; we pray there are not so many deaths and everything will be fine; I’ve spoke to the coach and some table tennis players, thankfully, no one in their family was hurt.
“I would like to thank everyone from my heart, it’s almost like a dream to get some gifts and support from former champions and ITTF members”, said Shrestha NABITA, aged 23, a Nepalese female player. “It’s great that we can meet like this; you are taking care of our country, there is humanity in the International Table Tennis Federation.”
Notably, leading players from China, Germany, Korea, Japan, Sweden, Austria, Nigeria and Peru attended the ceremony as did ITTF Executive Committee members, SHI Zhihao, Masahiro MAEHARA and Petra SORLING,
China’s WANG Liqin, three times Men’s Singles World champion, and the Chinese Table Tennis Association were all on hand to present signed national team shirts from many past and present world champions, while representing Korea, Yang HAEUN, recently crowned World Mixed Doubles Champion was personally present to provide a signed training shirt to the Nepalese team.
Many other players also showed solidarity with the Nepalese including the Slovak Republic’s Para player Alena KANOVA, and Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA.