Table Tennis England Director Priya Samuel helped the UK to succeed in its bid to host the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport.

Following a competitive bidding process, the UK will take over from current hosts New Zealand for the quadrennial period of 2022-2026, and it will include the staging of the 9th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport 2026.

The IWG works throughout the year to highlight important issues facing women and girls in sport and physical activity. It supports development, encourages inclusivity and shares knowledge across its global network to empower women and girls to take part in activity.

It partners and engages with world development and sporting agencies, including UN Women, UNESCO and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to drive awareness and support positive change.

Every four years it stages the world’s largest conference dedicated to gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity, attracting 1,200+ global experts to discuss strategy.

Priya, one of our Appointed Directors, was part of the steering group which put together the UK bid.

She said: “The Announcement of the UK as the next secretariat for the IWG Women in Sport is fantastic news for women and girls sport in this country.

“This exciting news comes at a great time as we in table tennis are developing opportunities for women and girls to participate, coach, officiate or volunteer in the sport through the Diversity Action Plan which will be launched in September.

“Now is the time for our clubs, leagues and members to open doors for more women and girls to enjoy our fantastic sport.

“If you would like support or ideas, we’d be delighted to hear from you.”

Anyone who would like to discuss opportunities for women and girls in table tennis, please contact our National Participation Manager Jenny Leach via email or on 07955 203981.

Olympic rower Annamarie Phelps CBE, Chair of the UK bid, said: “We are thrilled to have been given the honour of taking on the role of host secretariat for this prestigious group and will endeavour to build on the wonderful legacy already created by those nations who have held this position before, including our predecessors in New Zealand.

“Central to the UK’s bid was the pledge to ‘share’ and to learn from others through sharing. During our time as host secretariat, we will be inclusive of all cultures and identities; commit to mutual learning; and operate as global citizens with a collective responsibility to progress sport for women and girls in a way that is sustainable for the sport system and future generations.

“We look forward to welcoming the world and pushing forward conversations which challenge the status quo, re-evaluate and reinvent how sport works, and harness the power of sport as a driver for social change and social equity.”