Petra Sörling has been elected as President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), becoming the eighth person and the first woman to take charge of office.
Elected on the occasion of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Houston, Sörling underlined her plans to create value through a membership-centred governance.
“I want to secure table tennis’s position as one of the world’s leading sports and aim even higher among the leading sports and reach for the top at the forefront of the sport community as a modern, diverse, and unified world-class sport federation,” she commented.
“We are in a fast-transforming era when it comes to business and sport. It’s not only table tennis. We have to move on but without losing our tradition or our core values.”
In a bid to strengthen the commercial growth of table tennis, Sörling focused on four pillars including: ITTF family, governance, growth and sustainability, and highlighted the need for equality and digital transformation to become a role model sport organisation.
In terms of sustainability, she added; “At the heart of the ITTF group’s vision is to make table tennis accessible to all, for life and for future generations. To achieve this, the sport must make it its mission to focus its efforts towards three key areas: people, planet and prosperity.”
The reigning world champion previously partnered Denmark’s Pia Toelhoj to win the women’s doubles 45-49 years category at the World Veteran Championships, and the ITTF sees this as Sörling having a ‘particular penchant’ for the US.
In thanking her table tennis colleagues, she explained: “I will work for and with you in the coming years; and I will keep my promise to you, to listen, as achieving my mission of leading the ITTF will not be possible without your valuable thoughts and commitments.”
Prior to the election, Sörling held the positions of ITTF Executive Vice President of Finance and President of the Swedish Table Tennis Association, whilst also being a member of the Swedish National Olympic Committee.