Odisha Establishes Table Tennis Academies in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack


Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently announced the setting up of Table Tennis Academies in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, as well as other Table Tennis training centres across the state. The decision was taken while meeting a delegation of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and ITTF Foundation. The delegation was from Petra Sorling, President ITTF and ITTF foundation, Leandro Olvech, Director ITTF Foundation, Saurabh Mishra, Programme Manager, ITTF Foundation, and Julia Tappendorf, Program Coordinator, ITTF Foundation.

Sorling presented to the chief minister the Table Tennis for Development Handbook which reflects the initiative to use Table Tennis for social change. Patnaik was pleased with their efforts in promoting the sport in the state and the country and he promised full support for the same.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is the governing body of international table tennis and is responsible for the sport-related activities. It is committed to supporting the growth and development of table tennis in a professional and responsible way, and always prioritizes the safety, welfare and well-being of its players. ITTF also runs many programs focused on development, health and sustainability, that are all aimed at bridging the gap between members and their communities, and giving back to the society.

Person wise, Petra Sorling is appointed as the Executive President and CEO of ITTF since August 2020. She is the first woman to hold this position in the organization, and is a driving force in the areas of transformation, gender equity and sustainability. Moreover, she has been a Table Tennis player for more than 25 years, during which she had various successes and achievements, as well as making a name for herself as an Olympic campaigner. She also holds a position in the International Olympic Committee and is on the Board of Directors of the International Table Tennis Federation foundation.

This move of setting up academies for Table Tennis in the state of Odisha will strengthen the foundation for the sport and will be a major boost for the amateur and professional players that currently participate. This shows the commitment from the government to provide the necessary resources in order to help the state grow as well as promote its sporting activities. We are sure this will have a huge positive impact on Odisha and its players.