Paris, France: The game of table tennis has been opened up for more children and adults with intellectual disabilities today thanks to a new partnership agreement between the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities.
The agreement was signed on the final day of the ETTU 2013 Annual Conference by Dorte Kronsell, Vice President of ETTU and Mariusz Damentko, Sports Director at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia and takes place against the backdrop of the World Table Tennis Championship also taking place in Paris this week (May 13th – 20th).
“With the global table tennis community gathered together in Paris, we are delighted to take this opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to promoting more inclusion in table tennis across Europe while growing its popularity within the Special Olympics movement itself” says Dorte Kronsell, VP of ETTU. “Now is our opportunity to help more children and adults with intellectual disabilities to transforms their lives through the joy and power of table tennis.”
Table Tennis is one of the five most popular sports at Special Olympics in Europe with currently 41,352 registered table tennis players in the region. Table Tennis will be one of the eleven competition sports at the 2014 Special Olympics European Games to be held in Antwerp, Belgium from September 9th – 21st.
“This agreement comes timely as we prepare to celebrate our next European Games” says Mariusz Damentko, Sports Director at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia. “With the European Table Tennis Union as our partners we are confident that our athletes will be given every opportunity to train, prepare and demonstrate their personal best at the European Games. We congratulate the ETTU for taking this commitment to promote greater inclusion and access in the game of table tennis.”
For more information on 2014 Special Olympics European Games visit www.so2014.com
For more information on Special Olympics Europe Eurasia visit www.specialolympics.org
About European Table Tennis Union
The European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) is the highest authoritative body of regulation and organization of table tennis in Europe regarded by International Table Tennis Federation. It was founded in 1957, and currently has 56 member associations. It is responsible for holding various important competitions for individual players, nations and clubs in the continent.
For more information visit: www.ettu.org
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in all countries of the world to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.
Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.
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