Starting today, up to 40 young players (20 girls and 20 boys) and their coaches from 5 continents and 30 Member Associations will embark on an intense table tennis training and educational sessions
They will then face off in the final Hopes Challenge event, aiming to emerge as a winner of this prestigious event, just like today’s stars Adriana Diaz (PUR), Hana Goda (EGY) and Iulian Chirita (ROU) before them.
The ITTF launched the Hopes Program in 2009 as a talent identification programme that brings together young talents and coaches from all over the world. It is a key component of the ITTF’s High Performance and Development pathways, with the goal of expanding table tennis’s global reach and overall growth.
The World Hopes Week, like all previous stages of the Hopes journey, is intended to be a collaborative and educational opportunity for everyone involved. The programme continues to assist young players from various backgrounds all over the world by allowing them to meet coaches, share impressions, make new friends, and train together to nurture their passion for the sport.
Throughout 2022, not only the players, but also their coaches were learning and training. Coach education is an essential component of Hopes Week. Meetings and discussions were held between coaches and activity experts to discuss their common interests, how to improve athlete performance, and the challenges they face. Coaches were also given workshops and clinics to help them improve their knowledge and skills in player development.
This year’s edition of the ITTF World Hopes Week & Challenge will be happening from 16-22 January in France. Held in the Hennebont Ping Center, this international training, education, and competition facility, houses an Academy, training camps, and international events. The French professional club GV Hennebont Tennis de Table, which manages this modern and modular infrastructure are ready to host their first ever international event and give the players a memorable week of table tennis.
In addition to providing training and support for players and coaches at the grassroots level, the programme is intended to be the first step in the ITTF High Performance pathway, providing young players with the foundational skills and experience they need to progress to the next level of competition.
” Over the years, we have had the pleasure of watching young, talented players from this programme develop their skills and become the next generation of table tennis stars, making the Hopes Programme a crucial global program for the ITTF. This program has helped over 300 girls and boys annually throughout the world on their path to success by offering top-notch training and a venue to compete against the best young athletes worldwide. We are heartened to be able to play a pivotal role in shaping their future in the sport and are excited to see what they will go on to achieve.” – Polona Cehovin, ITTF Development Director
World-class table tennis equipment manufacturer 729 is supporting the event, partnering with the ITTF to cultivate upcoming professional players. “Youth events are key to global table tennis as they help to nurture future talent and build a strong core for the industry,” commented 729 Chairman, Mr. Mi Weigang. “729 hopes to contribute to the sport’s development through our services and support, and to be the companion of young athletes as they journey toward their dreams.”
Following the ITTF World Hopes Week and Challenge, participants will have the opportunity to be selected for the Hopes Squad, which will offer more opportunities to train together, along with a chance to be selected for the ITTF Hopes Team. To retain their position in the Hopes Squad, selected and potential players will have to demonstrate consistent commitment to regular training and participation in international events, such as the WTT Youth Series, as performance and world ranking will factor into the evaluation of the continued status of a player in the Hopes Squad.
For more details and to stay up to date with the World Hopes Week & Challenge in Hennebont, visit ITTF’s Facebook page here.