Help Lily Zhang attend WTT 2022 events

Professional table tennis players need help to participate in WTT events. Everything is getting more and more expensive these days. Professional table tennis wants to maintain the WTT world ranking, but the fees are too high.

Lily Zhang needs your help

Lily Zhang is a professional table tennis player in the United States.

Fundraising by Hailong Shen _ SUPPORT Lily Zhang for her participation in WTT 2022 events

Lily’s home club, Table Tennis America, supports this initiative to send Lily to participate in WTT events. All funds raised will go 100% towards his expense to attend this year’s events.

Here is Lily’s message:

Hi friends. My name is Lily Zhang. I have been involved in the table tennis scene for many years now, starting at the age of 7. Three Olympics, a 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 looks like in the United States. There are only a handful of active, fully professional table tennis players, only a minority of whom are women. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I’m one of the few left to represent this minority. It’s heartbreaking to see so many of our talented athletes leave for college after simply quitting because table tennis is not part of the NCAA and because there are no leagues or support here for provide a sustainable professional career in sport. How many generations have I already seen come and go?

Lily Zhang's post
Lily Zhang’s post

It’s too expensive for the professional player

Lily Zhang explained:

Myself, I’m definitely not in this sport for the money yet. As a member of the United States National Team, we receive an annual budget of $4,000 from the USATT to spend on training and competitions. With the growing expenses of World Table Tennis (WTT) competitions, it wouldn’t be a stretch to spend our entire annual budget on just one 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 created competitions, that just isn’t enough anymore.

WTT Grand Smash demanded money
WTT Grand Smash demanded money

The new WTT ranking points

In the new WTT system, it is essential to play in many multi-level competitions in order to earn world ranking points. There are four Grand Smashes, eight Champions, four Star Contenders, up to fourteen Contenders and a WTT Cup Final, if we have a high enough world ranking by the end of the year. Additionally, WTT has implemented a new rule that if we withdraw from a Grand Smash, Cup Final or Champion (excluding illness/injury), we must pay a penalty correlated with our global ranking.

That’s why I’m asking all of you for help. All donated funds would be used for travel and accommodation costs for competitions so that I could maintain and hopefully improve my world rankings.

WTT Grand Smash and the request to maintain the ranking point
WTT Grand Smash and the request to maintain the ranking point

The importance of the coach

The role of a table tennis coach is very important.

Lily also explains:

In particular, I sometimes like to bring a coach with me to tournaments. I’ve mostly 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 hopelessly isolated and lonely it can be on the circuit. You live out of a suitcase, scramble to find sparring partners before games, and go back to an empty corner between games.

With a coach, there’s just that irreplaceable sense of peace knowing that someone is there to support you unconditionally and support you through your toughest times, both on and off the table.

Lily Zhang won the 2021 US Championship
Lily Zhang won the 2021 US Championship

So if you want to support Lily Zhang, you can find the “gofundme” link below.


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