Jessie Xu’s table tennis voyage in December was eventful. An identical final stop is Chengdu, China. She represented Canada alongside Eugene Wang, Edward Ly, Martin Simeon, Mo Zhang, and Ivy Liao at the inaugural ITTF Mixed World Cup. She subsequently received an invitation to participate in the ITTF Global Youth Training Camp. It was two weeks training camp under supervision of the Chinese and ITTF elite coaches.
Since 6 December, the Chengdu National Key Table Tennis Training School has been the host of an extraordinary event, hosting the prestigious Global Youth Training Camp that will last till 18 December. It is a convergence of the world’s most promising youth table tennis talents, a collaboration by the ITTF High Performance and the Chinese Table Tennis Association.
This unique gathering has brought together champions from various continents alongside high-ranking players for a fortnight of unparalleled learning and intensity. This exclusive camp sees the finest U15 players, many fresh from the ITTF World Youth Championships in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, join hands with thirty exceptional talents from China.
Under the mentorship of head coaches from China, Elite Coach Massimo Costantini, and with a contingent of up to 80 players, along with their coaches, this camp is an environment designed to nurture development and excellence. In addition to being a fusion of cultures and an exchange of experiences among budding champions, the camp also provided the youths with the opportunity to witness the thrilling matches of the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup upfront at the Sichuan Gymnasium, adding to the excitement of their learning experience.
Edgardo Vázquez, a coach from Puerto Rico, praised the camp’s significance, noting, “This camp has been an incredible opportunity for our players and coaches alike. Learning from China, the powerhouse of table tennis has been a wonderful experience. Being at the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup is an amazing experience for our young talents. As coaches, we hope seeing their idols up close continues to inspire and ignite a fire within them to aspire for greatness.”
On December 9th, amid the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup buzz, a convergence of table tennis dignitaries and enthusiasts occurred. ITTF President Petra Sörling, ITTF Group CEO Steve Dainton, and ITTF Deputy President Liu Guoliang attended the Joint Opening Ceremony of the Chinese National League 2023 Final and the ITTF Global Youth Training Camp. They were joined by President of Chengdu Table Tennis Association, Chen Lin, and Deputy Director of Sichuan Sports Bureau, Zhu Ming.
President Sörling remarked, “These occasions unite the global table tennis community, fostering camaraderie and shared passion for the sport. The youth training camp stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit between ITTF and CTTA. Our shared objective is to elevate the growth and development of our sport. Through world-class training and exposure, we aim to expand opportunities and foster a lasting legacy for players.”
With local fans adding enthusiasm to the Chinese National League, the youth players were surrounded in an electric atmosphere as they took on some of the National League’s players. Adding to the excitement, Petra Sörling, Liu Guoliang and Steve Dainton kickstarted the event by engaging in a friendly table tennis match with the camp’s participants and the National League players.
This event together with the training camp signifies a profound celebration of table tennis, fostering unity and friendships, and nurturing the global table tennis community, marking an unforgettable prelude to the historic ITTF Mixed Team World Cup in Chengdu.
“It has been very exciting to be here and learn. Being amidst such top-level table tennis and experiencing the incredible atmosphere here in China with passionate fans has been amazing. It’s not just about watching top players; it’s also about being part of this table tennis culture and witnessing the love for the sport.” – Payas Jajal, ITTF Global Youth Training Camp participant