The ITTF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sport Singapore over the creation of the first Home of Table Tennis ©ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and Sport Singapore (SportSG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as they start discussions for the creation of the world's first Home of Table Tennis (HoTT).

The signing ceremony took place on the final evening of the Singapore Smash 2023 and attested to both parties' commitment towards raising the profile of table tennis regionally and reinforcing the strong partnership between SportSG and the ITTF.

To expand its global footprint, the ITTF plans to establish several new hubs around the world and Singapore has been identified as a potential location for the first.

Launched in 2019, the HoTT project experienced a temporary hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the ITTF reactivated it last year when it decided to search not for one home, but for multiple hubs.

In January 2020 the ITTF - which currently has staff in Lausanne and Singapore - reported that 28 cities had declared interest in being the home of the federation's new headquarters.

The candidates were said to come from 18 different countries and four continents.

The ITTF, which originally planned to seek one Home of Table Tennis, has since decided to seek multiple hubs, with Singapore being the first ©ITTF
The ITTF, which originally planned to seek one Home of Table Tennis, has since decided to seek multiple hubs, with Singapore being the first ©ITTF

The ITTF said its key reasons for choosing Singapore were the country's commitment to table tennis, with the hosting of several marquee WTT events such as the Singapore Smash, the nation's reputation for hosting world-class sporting events, and the country's strong infrastructure such as the Singapore Sports Hub, and strong travel connectivity.

The ITTF also highlighted Singapore’s strategic location as a well-connected hub for organisations with an international footprint, and that the nation consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and work.

Alan Goh, chief executive designate of SportSG said: "Through our collaboration, we organised the WTT Cup Finals in December 2021 and the Singapore Smash in March 2022 as well as March 2023.

"It is therefore very apt that on the final day of Singapore Smash 2023, we bring our partnership to the next level with the Singapore HoTT project.

"Through this, SportSG will work with the ITTF to chart new paths and create more opportunities to benefit our local athletes, coaches, industry partners and others in our table tennis fraternity."

ITTF President Petra Sörling added: "This project is a significant milestone for table tennis and a clear signal of our commitment to the sport's continued growth and development around the world.

"By partnering with SportSG to consider establishing a hub in Singapore, we are laying the foundation for a more innovative, inclusive, and sustainable future for our sport."

Steve Dainton, ITTF Group chief executive added: "Since the opening of ITTF's Asia-Pacific office in Singapore in 2011 we have seen table tennis grow by leaps and bounds in Singapore.

"We look forward to having more of such hubs around the world."

The discussions with the ITTF on the establishment of a Singapore HoTT will cover potential areas of collaboration which include pathway development for coaches, officials and players, industry development, community engagement and innovation and technology.