Triumphing over Parkinson's: Steve Morley's journey to the ITTF World Masters Rome 2024

Promoting the theme of 'Diversity and Inclusion' in table tennis, for the first time, the ITTF Foundation forms a team represented by two players with Parkinson's at the ITTF World Masters Championships Rome 2024. Steve Morley, diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2018, rediscovered his passion for table tennis in 2021 after a 40-year hiatus. Playing five days a week to improve his well-being and social connections, he is ready for the ITTF World Masters Rome 2024!

Meet Steve Morley, a dedicated and resilient individual from Scotland, whose passion for table tennis and indomitable spirit have taken him on an inspiring journey. Diagnosed with Parkinson's in October 2018, Steve has embraced table tennis not just as a sport, but as a transformative tool that has redefined his life and enabled him to connect with a community that shares his drive and determination.

Steve's journey began in Hornsea, a small town on the East Yorkshire coast. After leaving school in 1980, he explored various career paths, from hospitality in the picturesque Lochaber region to cartography with Shell in London, and later, town planning in Hull.

His career eventually led him to Ayrshire, where he worked in economic development and regeneration for North Ayrshire Council. Despite the professional and personal challenges, including a divorce, Steve found solace and purpose in hillwalking, which brought him not only peace but also love when he met his partner, Elaina.

In September 2017, while on holiday in Crete, Steve noticed the first signs of Parkinson's Disease—a lack of arm swing when walking. This diagnosis marked the beginning of a new chapter in his life. Determined to combat the progression of his symptoms, Steve rediscovered his teenage passion for table tennis in 2021. After a 40-year hiatus, he started playing again and soon became a fixture in various competitions, both for Parkinson's and non-Parkinson's players.

Playing table tennis five days a week has been a game-changer for Steve. It has not only improved his physical well-being but also provided a platform for social connection and competitive spirit. Steve's participation in events like the Scottish Parkinson's International Open and the ITTF Parkinson's World Championships in Crete, as well as other non-Parkinson's tournaments, has highlighted his unwavering dedication and resilience.

Now, Steve has set his sights on the ITTF World Masters in Rome 2024. Representing the ITTF Foundation, he will join other players affected by Parkinson's to compete among over 6000 athletes. This initiative by the ITTF Foundation is more than just a competition; it is a powerful message of inclusion, demonstrating how table tennis can change lives and bring people together, regardless of their health challenges.

Steve's story is a testament to the human spirit's capacity to adapt and thrive. By supporting Steve, you are not just funding his journey to Rome; you are endorsing a message of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of sports. Let's help Steve show the world that Parkinson's is not an end, but a new beginning—a new opportunity to inspire and be inspired.

Join us in supporting Steve Morley on his incredible journey to the ITTF World Masters Rome 2024. While the good folks at Swaythling Club International have partly sponsored the ITTF Foundation team and Double Happiness has provided the players’ kit, we are looking for your contribution that will further boost the players and will go towards:

  • Travel expenses
  • Accommodation
  • Participation fees

This will enable Steve to represent the Parkinson's community with pride and passion. Together, we can make a difference and champion the cause of inclusion through the universal language of sports.

Donate today and be a part of Steve's inspiring journey!

Click to know more about the ITTF Foundation team at the World Masters Rome 2024.

Click here to read the life story of the other player with Parkinson's, Agnes Jan.

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