A Table Tennis England proposal asking the International Table Tennis Federation to work towards greater flexibility in women’s playing kit has passed with 94% support.

At the ITTF AGM, being held at the World Championships in Houston and via Zoom, delegates agreed to ask the ITTF to consult the sport over the next year and make its own proposals on clothing flexibility at the next AGM.

The wording of the resolution was:

The AGM asks the ITTF executive to undertake a meaningful consultation with member associations, the Athletes Commission, the ITTF Gender Commissioner, clothing manufacturers and any other relevant bodies on competition clothing to ensure greater flexibility and choice of competition clothing for all players. The consultation should be conducted with a view to submitting a proposition to amend Regulations at the next AGM.

Table Tennis England would like to see the regulation amended to allow for full-length clothing such as long-sleeved tops and leggings/tracksuits in competition without the need to seek permission from the referee. The regulations should not be gender specific.

The proposal followed the amendment to domestic regulations announced last month and follows research conducted by Table Tennis England and its partners which found that the inflexibility of kit options has been a key theme or a barrier leading to women and girls dropping out of the sport.

Also at the ITTF AGM, Petra Sorling of Sweden was elected unopposed as President, succeeding Thomas Weikert of Germany, who stepped down. She is the first woman to hold the post.

Sorling said: “I am deeply honoured to have been chosen for this position. I would like to thank all my dear friends and colleagues from the entire table tennis family. I want to be a President for all of you. 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.”