LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championship 2018 in Halmstad is only days away, and as a teaser the political parties of The Swedish Parliament competed in “The Battle of Parties” in Stockholm.
The event was hosted by the Parliaments Sports Club, WTTC 2018 Halmstad and the Swedish Table Tennis Association.
The competition had two world-class judges and show players – Sweden’s no. 1 Matilda Ekholm and the five time world champion and WTTC-ambassador Jörgen Persson.
All eight political parties in The Swedish Parliament participated in the knock-out competition. The Swedish Moderate Party eventually stood as proud winners, represented by Maria Malmer Stenergard and Pål Johnsson.
The upcoming LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championship 2018 in Halmstad was the main topic around the tables. Being one of the biggest international championships ever to be held in Sweden it is also a hot topic for the members of Parliament.
– LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championship is important for Sweden, especially for the relations on the Asian markets. Table Tennis is a huge sport internationally and Sweden has a proud history in the sport. I hope The World Championships will put the spotlight on Halmstad, Sweden and Swedish Table Tennis, says Anders Ygeman, Parliament leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
Lars Püss is representing The Swedish Moderate Party both in Parliament and in the Municipality of Halmstad. He has been a part of the preparations in Halmstad since the start of the campaign in 2012.
– This is fantastic. The Battle of Parties is a political smash for LIEBHERR World Table Tennis Championship 2018 in Halmstad, he proudly states.
The Swedish Table Tennis Federation was represented by Secretary General Mikael Peterson and chairman Petra Sörling.
– This is perfect for the World Championships. The Battle of Parties shows that everyone can play table tennis together, at all levels. There are many hidden talents here in parliament, says Petra Sörling.
What does it mean for the sport to be involved at the highest political level in Sweden?
– When we started the world championships campaign, our aim was to show table tennis to all of Sweden, and achieve a sustainable growth of the sport. This has been done in the project “Ping Pong Power” together with Halmstad. One of our slogans in the project has been “Welcome to the next level” – This is the next level!
Text Johan Larsson Jufvas, photo: Max Ansbro