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Ping Pong Parkinson initiative of Nenad Bach
By Darko ®ubrinić | Published  04/29/2019 | Sports , Friends In Action , Events , Education | Unrated
Parkinson's World Table Tennis Championships, October 11-13, 2019 in Pleasantville, New York USA at the Westchester Table Tennis Center

Press conference for the first ever Parkinson's World Table Tennis Championships on April 23rd 2019 in Budapest at the World TT Championships.
Nenad Bach, Zoran Primorac, Leandro Olvech, Steve Dainton, Thomas Weikert. 1st ever Parkinson's World Table Tennis Championships,
will happen on October 11-13, 2019 in Pleasantville, New York USA at the Westchester Table Tennis Center

Press conference on April 23, 2019 in Budapest. Video taped by Kriston Reinmuth. Thank you Kris! Nenad Bach

Nenad Bach had been a globally acclaimed musician for almost forty years when his performing career was abruptly cut short by the onset of Parkinson's Disease. Though there is no known cure, Nenad was determined to perform in front of audiences again, so he took up ping pong as a form of therapy. After playing several times a week for over a year, he was not only able to halt the progression of the disease, but has reversed his symptoms enough to once again take the stage. He recently completed his first international concert tour and founded the Ping Pong Parkinson organization, a support group that helps people suffering from Parkinson's to conquer their illness through table tennis. In this short documentary, he talks about his journey to recovery in hope that others will be able to benefit as well.

Everything is better than it used to be

23 Apr 2019

Croatian by birth but resident in New York since 1984, Nenad Bach has delivered his message far and wide through music; his singing and song writing skills resulted in number one albums in Europe in both 1980 and 1988.

On Tuesday 23rd April at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, he delivered another powerful message "Everything is better than it used to be"€ť.

All smiles and a warm handshake between Leandro Olvech (left) and (right) Nenad Bach to stage the first Parkinson World Championships (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Some three years ago, 65 year old Nenad Bach, a prominent peace activist who appeared alongside the late Luciano Pavarotti in 1995 at a humanitarian concert for the children of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He started to play table tennis; the result is life has improved.

€śParkinson's is not a disease, it is a diagnosis.€ť Nenad Bach

Now, following the signing of a contract with the ITTF Foundation, the inaugural Parkinson World Championships will be staged from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th October at the Westchester Club in New York, the club owned by Will Shortz, the man who designs the crosswords for the New York Times.

Nenad Bach, always positive (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

Present for the signing in Budapest was Thomas Weikert, ITTF President alongside Steve Dainton, ITTF Chief Executive Officer, Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director and fellow Croatian, Zoran Primorac, Chair of the ITTF Athletes'€™ Commission.

€I met Nenad at the World Parkinson Day gathering in Zagreb in 2017, we spoke, we played and it interested me that table tennis could help him; so for me it was how best we could promote the cause. I am grateful to the ITTF for the support, after only one year we have a world championships. Zoran Primorac

Zoran Primorac delighted to support and delighted with the support received (Photo: Richard Kalosai)

A motivated Zoran Primorac, now there is a highly inspired group of delegates, Marko Spes, Kreso Grobenski, Silvio Grobenski and Danijela Pospis all actively supporting the initiative of the championships.

All are inspired by the positive, forward thinking of Nenad Bach; such initiatives are very much at the heart of Thomas Weikert who sees sport in a wide sphere, more than competition, more than winning and losing.

€We met last year in Halmstad, a pillar of our programme within the ITTF Foundation is health, so we looked at what we could do to support. Thomas Weikert.

Thomas Weikert turning to address Nenad Bach underlined the importance of health within the concept of the ITTF Foundation (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

Moreover, Nenad Bach demonstrated the fact that table tennis has helped his musical ability by playing the guitar to the strains of a song written for the occasion.

€My posture is better through playing table tennis, I shake less, I think better and my syncopation when playing the guitar is better. I played table tennis in my youth, it's an inexpensive sport, everyone can play; it is a sport that is beneficial to all of us. Nenad Bach

The music was appreciated by all, most certainly in Steve Dainton, Nenad Bach has a fan.

Last year in Halmstad it was one of those moments you will never forget; it was a step of how we could work together. I am really excited about this first world championship.€ť Steve Dainton

Steve Dainton enjoying the music an enthused by the progress made (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

In Budapest from all concerned there is a sense of anticipation, a sense that table tennis can achieve what no other sport can achieve; a sport that is to the benefit of mankind, a sport that is ahead of the field.

Full details of the Parkinson World Championships will be issued shortly; watch this space.

Source ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation)

Nenad Bach played, Zoran Primorac also found a rhythm (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

All looking forward to the first ever World Parkinson Championships (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

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