The stunning Biba Golic playing Killerspin League
Globally we face a huge problem with the promotion of table tennis, it is very muchly considered a minor sport and the bulk of player numbers are within China's population. To increase numbers there needs to be a lot more active media for table tennis and this is beginning to come through with forums, blogs and sites much like this one. The problem is all of these are biased and are largely focused on mens table tennis, many players prefer to watch the male game as the technical aspects seem to be more enjoyable to watch. Really though I enjoy watching women's table tennis a bit more sometimes as I find it captures more of the speed and agility of the game than the men's style.
The achievements of female players need to be publicised so that the image of our sport for female is one full of opportunities for success, they need role models and players to idolise just as male players do. Also I think nothing is really being done to promote the sport to the groups which are missing from the game, regional and national bodies should really be moving into profiling events to attract new players to the game. Also the majority proportion of table tennis coaches are male and this can have a negative impression upon young female players along with the high number of male players. Not many junior girl players would enjoy being the only girl in a club and I'm sure girls frequently get sick of playing mixed events when there is a lack of female entries.
A real problem for female players is that they tend to place a much greater emphasis upon the importance of their education, particularly in New Zealand we see a large number of female players leave the sport around the ages of 15-17 to pursue their academic studies as they find juggling table tennis and school too much of a hassle and don't see much of a future in the sport. The real thing table tennis needs is an incentive to balance it or at least put it on par with academic education but to achieve this is a long and arduous task for the ITTF.
The morale of the story is we need to get more female players involved one way or another, it's the key to attracting more players. More female players through role modelling and media coverage of opportunities for women's players and of course more males for a string of more obvious reasons :P