By Declan Warrington

burundi 24_12_11LargeJanuary 3 - Olympic Solidarity has combined with the International Table Tennis Federation and Peace and Sport to organise a week-long period of table tennis inductions for young coaches and sports educators in Burundi youth centres.

The movement is the first phase of the "Ping Pong pour la Paix" programme, which translates as Ping-Pong for Peace, to encourage over 400 children from youth centres in Burundi to play supervised table tennis at least twice a week.

Swedish table tennis legend and Peace and Sport "Champion for Peace" Peter Karlsson, a five-time World Championship gold medallist, visited Burundi to launch the programme and hold coaching clinics.

"Being in Africa is a fantastic experience for me I want to pass on the values I have gained through sport: respect, discipline and planning," he said.

"Sport provides many valuable lessons that can help shape a better future for everyone and this is what I want to pass on to all of the players and coaches I meet in Burundi."

This is the third time that the charismatic world champion has attended a Peace and Sport-ITTF event to launch a table tennis programme, following similar projects in Colombia and Timor-Leste.

Additionally, the German Table Tennis Association is working with the ITTF to support and send two children from each village – Luvungi, Bwegera, Gihanga and Gitega – to Dortmund for the World Championships, which are due to begin on March 25.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]