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PSD and ITTF Foundation join hands to utilise table tennis as a tool for social good

Children cheering
Copyrights: Pro Sport Development (Photo)

PSD and ITTF Foundation join hands to utilise table tennis as a tool for social good

Supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Odisha through the sport of table tennis.

Pro Sport Development (PSD) believes that sport is a powerful tool to support the holistic development of children and youth, and provides them with well-structured and professionally-conducted sport for development programs which fosters their growth as confident and competent learners. PSD utilizes sport to aid in the development of children and youth by boosting their health and well-being (UN SDG 3), fostering their cognitive development (UN SDG 4) and promoting a healthy relationship between girls and boys, as well as challenging gender-based stereotypes (UN SDG 5).

Recently, PSD initiated a collaboration with the ITTF Foundation to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Bhubaneswar, Odisha through the sport of table tennis. The program, called Community Table Tennis (CTT), part of PSD’s larger Community Sports Program operational in Bhubaneswar since 2015, has been selected by the ITTF Foundation as one of the projects for the TT Dream Building Fund 2020. The TT Dream Building Fund is an annual call for projects using table tennis to support humanitarian projects and promote social welfare across the globe.

Youth in India, especially girls, are lacking in their social and emotional development due to inadequacies in their educational experience and structure, as well as a lack of exposure opportunities. The  CTT program is a two-year project which aims to empower 240 boys and girls from underserved slum communities in the city of Bhubaneswar in Eastern India to become gender-sensitive, confront harmful gender-based stereotypes and impact gender-perceptions of peers, family members and schoolteachers, using Table Tennis as an effective medium of learning. These students will come from 4 community-based schools in Bhubaneswar, where the program will be implemented through a structured and goal-oriented curriculum utilizing Table Tennis. Though the project was scheduled to start on 1st of April 2020,  it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice.

However, given the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is impacting low-income communities in India most severely, the ITTF Foundation in collaboration with PSD is engaging in  relief efforts for the children and their families from various slum communities in Bhubaneswar with whom the CTT project will be implemented. With this support from the ITTF Foundation, PSD has provided hygiene kits (including face masks, soap, sanitary pads and pamphlets with official information on COVID-19 and fitness at home exercises) to 800 participants and their families. Moreover, PSD has provided sanitary kits (including soap dispensers and liquid soap) to partner schools in Bhubaneswar where these children study.

In total, 530 hygiene kits (44% to girls) were distributed in Beena Bharati Vidya Mandir school and 270 hygiene kits (52% to girls) in Vivekananda Shiksha Kendra school. Each student received three bars of soap, two facemasks, and one set of pamphlets. Each adolescent girl received two packets of sanitary pads (each packet contains 20 pads) in addition to these kits. PSD also distributed three soap dispensers to both the schools along with 15 litres of hand wash each. 

Through the collaboration with the ITTF Foundation, PSD aims to support children and youth and their families to overcome the challenges they have faced during the pandemic through the relief efforts. Additionally, CTT will prove to be a huge step in the direction towards eliminating gender-based discrimination and breaking gender stereotypes in various communities of Bhubaneswar, Odisha through the sport of Table Tennis.

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Monday, June 22, 2020 - 18:00