POSTED: Thursday October 27th 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Global Sport Breaks New Boundaries For Peace

10 Countries to participate in the very first Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup in Qatar

MONACO, 27 October 2011 - 10 nations have officially confirmed they will participate in the "Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup", an historic table tennis tournament conceived to encourage dialogue and reconciliation between nations, which will be held in Qatar on 21 - 22 November 2011.

The 10 competing nations officially revealed today by Joel Bouzou President and Founder of Peace and Sport, are the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Republic of Korea (South Korea), People's Republic of China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Russia, the United States of America (USA), France and hosts Qatar.

The tournament will last two days and boasts a prize fund of $100,000 for the winners. Organized by the Qatar Table Tennis Association, with support from the National Olympic Committee of Qatar, under the leadership of the ITTF and the guidance of Peace and Sport. This unprecedented sports event aims to ease political tensions and unite nations through table tennis, a sport with a rich historical past of doing just that…In Qatar "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" returns.

"Ping-Pong diplomacy" refers to the visit by a U.S. table tennis team to China in 1971, in the midst of the Cold War, to play friendly matches. This event was the catalyst for U.S. President Nixon's visit to China the following year, allowing the two countries to restore diplomatic relations.

Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport said: "The first Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup is set to be a great event! It will foster communication and political reconciliation at the highest level, since diplomats and government representatives from the 10 participating nations are invited to watch the tournament. We are extremely proud to have succeeded in gathering together, under the banner of sport, countries that refuse to mix in other contexts. The neutral status of sport plays the role of mediator on the international diplomatic stage. This tournament will make a step to encourage dialogue between countries, to promote mutual understanding and peace."

For Adham Sharara, ITTF President, "This unprecedented event will forge bonds of friendship between the participating nations: The competition aims to promote world peace and we are proud that table tennis is the sport that is fully implemented in this cause. The best table tennis champions from the participating 10 countries will compete amicably for two days, in men's and women's doubles matches with mixed-nation teams. The 'Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup' will create unprecedented duos that will make a lasting impression on memories and make the athletes spokespeople for peace."

The "Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup" is the culmination of a long-term project between Peace and Sport and the ITTF to develop joint educational programs and promote peace through ping-pong in Colombia and Timor Leste.


For more information, please contact
Peace and Sport
Valerie Amant
Tel: +33 (0)6 83 37 66 21 /
Email: press@peace-sport.org
http://www.peace-sport.org
ITTF
Richard Pettit
Tel: +41 787 481 659
E-mail : rpettit@ittf.com
http://www.ittf.com

ABOUT PEACE AND SPORT
"Peace and Sport, L'Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport" is a neutral and apolitical international initiative based in the Principality of Monaco and placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Peace and Sport puts sport and its values at the heart of local development projects conducted within communities in crisis around the world. Exercising its missions in post-conflict zones, areas of extreme poverty or lacking social cohesion, Peace and Sport makes sport a vehicle for tolerance, respect, sharing and citizenship at the service of sustainable peace.
Supported by governments, world sport governing bodies, international organizations, major international private companies and international sports champions, Peace and Sport creates synergies between different stakeholders based on four different activities:
- The annual Peace and Sport International Forum (5th edition being held in Monaco from 26-28 October 2011)
- A co-operation platform for peace and sport,
- The Peace and Sport Awards, to reward individuals and initiatives contributing to peace,
- Locally-Based Projects; concrete actions in different regions of crisis in the world
Today, Peace and Sport has operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi, Israel-Palestine, Timor Leste, Colombia and in Haiti.
Peace and Sport was founded by Joel Bouzou, current President of the organisation. Joel Bouzou is an Olympic medallist, world champion of Modern Pentathlon and current Secretary General for the International Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM). He is also Advisor to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
About the ITTF
-      The International Table Tennis Federation is responsible for the global sport of table tennis
-      It is the second largest international federation in the world with 215 member nations
-      Table Tennis is an Olympic Sport, introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics Game
-      Table Tennis is also a Paralympic Sport
-      Table Tennis is known as one of the most democratic sports on the planet and boasts high levels of life-long participation from every demographic
-      Table Tennis is also one of the most cerebral sports; the medical profession often uses it for patients recovering from strokes etc. to stimulate the brain, and aid movement and coordination
-      Table Tennis TV Audience figures compare favourably to other sports with the Women's Team Final and Men's Team Semi-Final ranked 5th and 7th respectively in the top 20 viewing figures from the entire 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
-      Table tennis also managed to capture the imagination of almost half of the Chinese population during the 2008 Beijing Games with an astonishing 48.2 % tuning in for a minimum of 15 consecutive minutes. (Source: CMS Media Research)
-      The Development Program of ITTF organizes more than 100 courses worldwide annually, including an active program using table tennis as a vehicle for social change.
-      The "Table Tennis for Peace" projects in conjunction with Peace and Sport has assisted in areas of conflict in Colombia, East Timor and from December Burundi-Democratic Republic of Congo

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Keywords · Peace and Sport · ITTF · table tennis · Ping Pong diplomacy · Joel Bouzou


Name: Caroline Duboc
Organization: Peace and Sport
Email:
Phone: 79298543597
URL: http://www.peace-sport.org/home.htm


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