“I am a candidate for the position of ITTF president for the period of 2017-2021.”
1 – 0 TABLE TENNIS FIRST, ITTF FIRST
My motto is Table Tennis First, ITTF First. The ITTF is very ambitious in trying to make table tennis one of the Top sports in the World and the ITTF one of the Top federations in the World. In order to keep improving our standing, we need winning strategies and incremental goals. We must create an atmosphere of “Excellence” in all ITTF activities.
2 – 0 CONSULTATION AND COMMUNICATION
All major decisions will be made only after extensive consultation with the member national associations and all stakeholders, this includes any major decisions affecting the World Table Tennis Championships. In particular, we will increase “two-way” communications with our Continental Federations, National Associations, the Board of Directors, and all groups that work on the development of our sport. I understand that the development needs and visions of Continental Federations and National Associations may differ.
3 – 0 SPORT FOR ALL
At the heart of my candidacy, there is a desire that is fundamental to me: I want to pay more attention to the base of our sport, the hundreds of millions of players who are in love with table tennis! The ITTF must be a federation for all and not just for the elite.
I would also like to integrate the World Veterans Championships and the Veterans Circuit into the ITTF’s competition program. All table tennis and ping pong players belong to one family, the ITTF Family. I intend to enlarge this family by bringing school girls and boys into our table tennis events. This will help popularize our sport, which is a SPORT FOR ALL!
4 – 0 ITTF ROLE MODELS
In consultation with the Continental Federations, we will appoint Athlete Role Models, one male and female from each Continent, to promote our sport and to inspire and to mentor our young players to project a positive image of the ITTF and of our sport all over the world.
5 – 0 CLOSER RELATIONS WITH THE IOC AND THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT
The ITTF could and should be much closer to the IOC. Through my current positions as a member of the EOC board, the EOC Chair of the AC, and a member of the Association of National Olympic Committees AC, I am uniquely positioned to make the ITTF closer to the IOC specifically, and to the Olympic movement in general. One of my major aims is to increase the number of events and medals at the Olympic Games.
6 – 0 DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION
The ITTF has one of the best development programs in the world of sport. The ITTF staff and volunteers work extremely hard on a daily basis, with limited funds and resources, to develop our sport worldwide. My intention is to double the development budget and to provide the necessary human resources to spread our sport throughout every part of the world. The development programs for each continent will be tailored to adjust to continental needs. I will personally assume a leading role in the promotion of our development program.
In addition to our education and certification programs for coaches as well as umpires and referees, we will establish educational programs for administrators at the national and continental levels under the umbrella of an “ITTF Academy.”
At the same time, we will consult all concerned, as well as external experts, to help us professionalize our sport everywhere in the world so that we can have more professional coaches, professional players and professional clubs. All of these efforts will provide long-term returns and benefits to the table tennis community worldwide.
7 – 0 EQUIPMENT AND QUALITY OF TABLE TENNIS BALLS
At first glance, to the casual observer, it may seem strange to include this in a presidential candidate’s manifesto, but I consider this one of the major issues in our sport at the moment. Players at all levels, especially at lower levels, complain about the poor quality of table tennis balls. This goes to the core of our sport. I will personally visit our manufacturer partners and together I am sure we will not only achieve positive solutions, but will also find a way to make table tennis equipment more affordable to table tennis lovers.
8 – 0 STABILITY
Over the past few years, our sport has undergone many significant changes. My intention is to convince all levels of decision-makers within the ITTF not to make any more changes to our rules (Laws of Table Tennis) for a set period of time. Instead, out of official competitions, we can welcome experiments and tests to evaluate the impact changes would have. I believe that we need this period of stability to focus our attention on promoting our beautiful and great sport.
9 – 0 MARKETING AND PRESENTATION OF OUR SPORT
The ITTF is revitalizing its marketing strategies. Our goal should be to introduce new sponsors and advertisers from different parts of the world and to provide them with a high return on their investment in terms of the promotion and visibility of their product. To achieve that, we will also improve and professionalize the presentation of our events.
Bringing spectators to the venues is one of my priorities. We must make table tennis more “fashionable.”
I want to draw a new segment to our sport by creating a form of interactivity with the public without changing the core of our sport: the game and the players. As president, I will work with our maketing professionnals to attract large multinational companies to our sport as long-term sponsors and partners.
10 – 0 GOOD GOVERNANCE
Beside all the specific points about table tennis, good governance and good management is my number one priority. We will ensure that the ITTF follows all aspects of good management and respects all principles of good governance. We will ensure that the ITTF operates on an “open book” basis with timely and relevant information available to all. Full transparency is in my DNA and it will be also the ITTF’s DNA under my presidency.
…11 LEADERSHIP AND TEAM CONCEPT
Table tennis has the distinction of being both an individual and a team sport. It was a privilege to have competed not only as an individual, but also as a very passionate team member. I intend to lead the ITTF as a team player. I welcome the choice of each Continental Federation for the positions of ITTF VP from Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Of course I will support the choices made by these continents and the choice of the AGM.
I am ready to work as the captain of a team with all elected members of the EC, and I will listen to the advice of the Continental Federations. I plan to attend Continental Federation’s EB (or EC) meetings whenever possible in order to seek others’ advice and opinions on all aspects of the ITTF. I will also work closer with the Board of Directors (BoD) on a regular basis, including in between BoD meetings.
I am committed to providing additional resources to better service the member associations and the ITTF programs. We will hire as soon as possible a “Director of Planning and Implementation” to be responsible and dedicated to all aspects of the longterm planning of the ITTF.