Karine Teow has been appointed as the ITTF Group's first-ever sustainability manager ©ITTF/Owen Hammond

World Table Tennis Day 2023 is set to take place on April 23 with the theme "Think sustainably, act now" while Karine Teow has been appointed as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Group's first sustainability manager.

The announcements were made at the inaugural ITTF Summit which is currently taking place in Jordanian capital Amman.

World Table Tennis Day aims to bring the sport's community together, focusing less on competition and more on participation and enjoyment.

"When I was elected to lead the ITTF, I pledged to make sustainability a key part of my mandate," said ITTF President Petra Sörling.

"Our federation oversees a global sport, so it is very important that we lead the way in being stewards for managing our footprint to drive change in the world.

"This year's World Table Tennis Day will build on the ITTF signing the United Nations (UN) Sports for Climate Action Framework and continue the fight against climate change."

World Table Tennis Day has run since 2015.

The last three editions have focused on keeping table tennis going during COVID-19, gender equality and peaceful conflict resolution.

The April 23 date is significant in the ITTF's history as it is the birthdate of Ivor Montagu, organiser of the first World Championships in 1926 and founder of the organisation.

The date was originally set for April 6 to coincide with International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

However, it was moved in a bid to "maximise the reach of World Table Tennis Day".

The ITTF's new sustainability manager Teow is a sport for development expert for the ITTF Foundation.

Teow has been a member of the ITTF Foundation since its creation.

In the new role she will work to ensure table tennis contributes to providing solutions towards the UN sustainable development goals.

The next World Table Tennis Day is set to take place on April 23 with a focus on sustainability ©ITTF
The next World Table Tennis Day is set to take place on April 23 with a focus on sustainability ©ITTF

"After a steep learning curve at the ITTF Foundation, I am both grateful and excited to take on this new challenge within the ITTF Group," Teow said

"Having the role positioned across ITTF, WTT and the ITTF Foundation is to me, a clear signal that we have a real buy-in from the leadership and commitment to making the changes, necessary to ensure Table Tennis is a sport for tomorrow."

The position makes the ITTF one of the few global International Federations with a manager-level portfolio dedicated to sustainability, keeping in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Also in Amman, the ITTF Athletes' Commission met and elected co-chairs in Achanta Sharath Kamal of India and China's Liu Shiwen.

The Athletes’ Commission elected two deputy chairs, Stefan Fegerl of Austria and Romanian Elizabeta Samara.

Egypt's Omar Assar, Swedes Ingela Lundbäck and Jon Persson, Daniely Ríos of Puerto Rico, Melissa Tapper of Australia, and Dutchwoman Kelly Van Zon make up the rest of the panel.