France to Host 2024 World Parkinson’s Championships

The ITTF Foundation announced the 2024 World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships will take place in Hennebont, France. The event will welcome hundreds of players from over 50 countries in October 2024.

This will be the fourth edition of the World Parkinson’s Championships. The announcement took place in Paris on Tuesday, 25 October 2022, at an event organised by the French Table Tennis Federation to showcase the broad benefits of playing table tennis for people with cognitive disorders.

Ms. Petra Sörling, ITTF and ITTF Foundation President, commented, “The World Parkinson's Table Tennis Championships is a very important event for the ITTF Group, and I am delighted the ITTF Foundation has already secured hosts for 2023 and 2024. This event is a testimonial that table tennis is for all and for life. Moreover, we are showing our commitment and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, notably on Good Health and Well-being. We hope to see more people benefiting from playing table tennis for their physical and mental health.”

The ITTF Foundation, the non-profit organisation within the ITTF Group that uses table tennis as a tool for development and peace by connecting people worldwide, is looking forward to building on the success of the event.

The World Parkinson’s Championships are an innovative way to showcase the benefits of playing table tennis for people with cognitive disorders. The participants are not only advocates of the health benefits of the sport, but they are also the inspiration that will lead to positive changes for others who live with the disease.

The last edition of the World Parkinson’s Championships, held in 2021 in Berlin, Germany, in partnership with the YUVEDO Foundation, set new standards and was nominated for multiple Sports Business Awards. In 2023, the World Parkinson’s Championships will take place in Crete, Greece.

Didier Robiliard, President of France Parkinson, commented, ”We are delighted with the choice of the ITTF Foundation to award the 4th edition of the World Parkinson´s Table Tennis Championships to Hennebont, a club under the aegis of our partner FFTT, with whom we have been working for more than a year to encourage patients to make table tennis their best therapeutic ally. This event should serve as a sounding board for our advocacy with public authorities on the issues surrounding this disease and demonstrate the positive impact of table tennis practice through studies and research. To do this, we will mobilize our network of experts as well as our local branches.”

In France, the 2024 World Parkinson's Championships will be hosted in the Hennebont Ping Center, a 3,500m2 complex dedicated to table tennis, and managed by a team with 20 years of expertise in hosting events.

Mr. Bruno Abraham, President of GV Hennebont Tennis de Table, said, “Hennebont has historically been a very socially committed club. Thanks to the new opportunities offered by the Ping Center, we are ambitious to be a model for international events organisation and CSR policy. Hosting the 2024 World Parkinson’s Championships meets both objectives. It will be a true festivity; in France, sports for health become a top priority. With the joint support of France Parkinson and the French Table Tennis Federation, we have the ideal partners to create a legacy in addition to organising a memorable event.”

The event received the full support of the French Table Tennis Federation and the association France Parkinson.

Gilles ERB, President of the French Table Tennis Federation (FFTT), said: “I thank the ITTF for trusting France and more particularly the GV Hennebont Tennis de Table club for the organisation of the World Parkinson Championships in October 2024. This will be a pioneer event in France. I salute the initiative of the GV Hennebont Tennis de Table club, which is perfectly in line with the objectives of the FFTT to develop ‘Ping for Health’ as a powerful vector of social utility. I know that Bruno Abraham will do what is necessary to offer, in their magnificent new complex ‘Hennebont Ping Center, excellence for all’, the best conditions for players and accompanying persons. This competition will be an opportunity to put a spotlight on Parkinson's disease and the benefits of table tennis practice. I would also like to thank France Parkinson and its President Didier Robiliard for the quality of our cooperation in order to spread ‘Ping Parkinson’ sections throughout France and thus enable many patients to live better with their disease.”

In line with the ITTF Group's efforts to deliver sustainability events, Hennebont is also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the event by using locally sourced products, abolishing the use of single-use plastic, and creating a long-term legacy for the sport.

Mr. Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director, commented: “I am excited to see the ITTF Foundation securing such a prestigious host for the fourth World Parkinson's Championships in 2024. We are grateful for the support of the GV Hennebont Tennis de Table as we aim to spread an important message about the positive impact of table tennis for health.”

Regular table tennis play can delay cognitive disorder from developing for up to five years, sustain cognitive function, and improve long-term memory. Table tennis also increases the growth and fortification of brain cells as its practice requires high-level of concentration and focus.

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