Table tennis and ping-pong protagonist at the Capitol with ministers Abodi and Santanché

The Ministers of Sport and Tourism, Andrea Abodi and Daniela Santanché, are facing off at the Campidoglio for a ping-pong challenge until the last ball, on the occasion of the World Masters Table Tennis Championships, scheduled until Sunday at the Nuova Fiera di Roma. The two government officials did not want to miss the largest sporting event ever organized, in which 6,100 athletes over the age of 40 (that is the meaning of the term “Master”) from 110 countries and five continents took part.

Referring to the table tennis championships, but also to other major sporting events recently held in Rome, such as the international tennis championships and the European athletics championships, Minister Santanché stressed: “They are very important because they bring a different kind of tourism, because today we are talking about tourism. The discourse on tourism is reductive: there is tourism and sports tourism, we have seen that it weighs heavily on the creation of wealth and on our GDP. They also have the effect of deseasonalizing.”

But above all, in addition to having a significant impact on the local economy, the Masters World Championships are a celebration of sport and not only in which Ukrainian, Russian, Israeli, Palestinian and Iranian athletes participate, some of whom shook hands during the races.

For the Minister of Sports, Abodi, “a constant of recent years is that, unfortunately, sport ends up increasingly, by the will of the aggressors, in the perimeter of the conflict, also suffering a very high price: one only has to think of the Ukrainian athletes and athletes who died. Fortunately, there is still a sports component that manages to fully fulfill its diplomatic function.”

On the same day, still at the Capitol, a flash mob was organized by some of the 6,100 athletes participating in the world championships. As Laura Gambacorta, an athlete present at the event, points out, “sport and in particular table tennis unites people and the world and eliminates barriers, including age.”

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