Professional table tennis players need help to participate in WTT events. Nowadays, everything becomes more and more expensive. Professional table tennis wants to maintain the WTT world ranking, but the fee is too much.
Lily Zhang needs your help
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Lily Zhang is a professional table tennis player in the United States.
Lily’s home club Table Tennis America supports this initiative of sending Lily to participate at the WTT Events. All funds raised will 100% goes to her expense for attending this year’s events.
Here is the message from Lily:
Hi friends. My name is Lily Zhang. I’ve been immersed in the table tennis scene for many years now, starting as early as 7 years old. Three Olympics, one World Championship medal, five National Championship titles, and 18 years later, here I am, asking for your help.
Many of you know what table tennis is like in the U.S. There are only a handful of active, fully professional table tennis players, only a minority of them being women. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I’m one of the few left representing this minority. It’s heartbreaking to witness so many of our up-and-coming talented athletes leave for college having simply quit because table tennis is not a part of the NCAA and because there are no leagues or support here to offer a sustainable professional career in the sport. How many generations have I seen come and go already?
It is too expensive for the professional player
Lily Zhang explained:
I myself am certainly not still in this sport for the money. As a member of the USA National team, we receive a yearly budget of $4000 dollars from USATT to spend on training and competitions. With the increasing expenses of World Table Tennis (WTT) competitions, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expend our entire yearly budget on a single competition.
My sponsor, JOOLA, my club, Table Tennis America (TTA), and a few other generous friends/mentors have pitched in to help me tremendously, but with the rise of newly minted competitions, it’s simply not enough anymore.
The New WTT ranking points
In WTT’s novel system, it’s vital to play in many different tiered competitions in order to gain world ranking points. There are four Grand Smashes, eight Champions, four Star Contenders, up to fourteen Contenders, and a WTT Cup Final, should we have a high enough world ranking by the end of the year. Furthermore, WTT has implemented a new rule that if we withdraw from any Grand Smashes, Cup Final, or Champions (excluding sickness/injuries), we must pay a penalty in correlation to our world ranking.
That is why I’m asking for help from you all. Any funds donated would be used for travel and accommodation costs for competitions so that I’m able to maintain and hopefully improve my world ranking.
The importance of the coach
The role of a table tennis coach is very important.
Lily also explains:
In particular, I would love to occasionally bring a coach along with me to tournaments. I’ve primarily managed everything and gone alone in the past, with the exception of World and Continental Championships, and I can say from experience that having a coach makes all the difference in the world. After all these years, I’m knowledgeable enough to understand much of the game on the table, but it’s hard to express how desperately isolating and lonely it can get on the tour. You’re living out of a suitcase, scrambling to find practice partners before matches, and returning to an empty corner in between games.
With a coach, there’s just this irreplaceable feeling of peace knowing that someone is there to unconditionally support you and have your back in the toughest moments, both on and off the table.
So if you want to support Lily Zhang, you can find the link of “gofundme” below.
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