Raising awareness for Parkinson’s at Singapore Smash
Sunil Raghavan, participant of the 2019 ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships and the Founder of Table Tennis 4 Good appeared as the special guest and shared with the audience how playing table tennis has turned his life around.
“One of the happiest moments, after I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s is when people think I am cheating and that I don’t actually have Parkinson’s. It is such an achievement for me, and I give 100% credit to table tennis for that.” - Sunil Raghavan.
Early study shows that table tennis may offer benefits as a form of Parkinson’s physical therapy, lessening symptoms in patients who participated weekly in the sport for six months. Similar to what the study suggests, participants of the previous editions of ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships have also reported improvement in motion ability after they started playing table tennis.
While the physical benefit of the sport is evident, an equally important aspect that contributes to a positive post-diagnose life should be emphasised.
“Parkinson’s is one condition where it is critical to have a strong support system. When you have a strong support system from family, friends, community, and society I think you would feel empowered and not disabled." - Sunil Raghavan.
“It is at the root of our sport to be inclusive. Table tennis is a joy for everyone and the table tennis community is bonded by our love for the sport. The ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships is, and always will be a celebration for Parkinson’s fighters and their loved ones. It is a platform to make friends, exchange ideas and support each other. It is the ITTF Group creating history with the Parkinson’s community, and we have only just begun.” – Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director.
Many Parkinson’s fighters took part in the Singapore Smash Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day. Two table tennis tables in OCBC Square were dedicated to promoting the health benefits of table tennis, not only for the Parkinson’s fighters but also for the elderly and people suffering from dementia. British table tennis player Liam Pitchford was also present and supported the initiative.
The Singapore Smash Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day marked ground zero for the ITTF Foundation’s effort in engaging the Parkinson’s community in 2022. The upcoming 2022 ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships in Pula will take place between 30 September and 3 October 2022. Organised in partnership with the Croatian Table Tennis Association, the third edition of the tournament aims to raise awareness for the positive health benefits of playing table tennis for Parkinson’s fighters, and provide networking opportunities for their families to exchange ideas and experiences.
- Check out the testimonial of Professor Lars Bo Kaspersen on how playing table tennis helps him cope with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Sign up for the ITTF Foundation newsletter to get more information on the 2022 ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships.