The ITTF is celebrating this year's World Table Tennis Day under the theme of "think sustainably, act now" ©ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has put the environment to the fore by celebrating World Table Tennis Day under the motto "think sustainably, act now".

The occasion, which lands today, is an annual commemoration of table tennis which aims to encourage people from around the world to celebrate the sport's diversity and inclusivity.

The ITTF Foundation decided that this year's official theme should be sustainability, using the day as a vehicle to highlight environmental issues and promote green practices.

"We are thrilled to see so many people and organisations around the world pledge their support for World Table Tennis Day and planning celebrations on 23 April," said ITTF President Petra Sörling.

"It is a day that captures the joy of playing table tennis for fun, bringing people together, focusing less on competition and more on participation and enjoyment while showing how table tennis is a force for good in the world.

"This is a testament to the power of our sport to unite people and promote positive change.

"This year's theme for World Table Tennis Day will build on the ITTF's ongoing efforts to further commit to making sustainability a key part of all aspects of the sport, encouraging table tennis players and fans around the world to adopt sustainable practices both on and off the table."

All five continental table tennis federations are staging development events to mark World Table Tennis Day ©ITTF
All five continental table tennis federations are staging development events to mark World Table Tennis Day ©ITTF

Continental federations associated with the ITTF are organising events focusing on sustainability for people and the planet.

In Asia, an event on social integration and energy conservation is taking place in Qatar, "spin towards sustainability" is happening in parallel with the Under-21 European Championships in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Smash down barriers" is planned in Tonga by ITTF Oceania while the Americas' federation is putting on "table tennis for sustainable health and environment" in Argentina.

The African Table Tennis Federation is also staging the table tennis for all event in Egypt. 

"Through the far-reaching power of table tennis globally, we can promote and contribute to important social causes," said ITTF Foundation director Leandro Olvech.

"This year's focus on sustainability also reminds us that we all have a role to play, in terms of environmental factors, and also in ensuring the legacy of the sport and harnessing the power of our people to create a healthy, equitable, and prosperous society."

World Table Tennis Day is being celebrated on today's date which marks the birthdate of Ivor Montagu, who organised the first World Table Tennis Championships in 1926 and founded the ITTF.