Timo Boll, Thomas Weikert and Mattheus Vatthueur from the DTTB showed their support in Dortmund
Photo By: Courtesy of Leandro Olvech
Two programmes and two projects organised by the International Table Tennis Federation have been shortlisted for the Spirit of Sports Awards by SportAccord.
Sport Accord, prior to 2009, was known as the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) being formed in 1967 in Lausanne, Switzerland; the organisation works closely with the International Olympic Committee and has the principal aim of promoting co-operation between international sporting federations.
In 1967 when the organisation was founded the membership totalled 26 international sporting federations, now the number has risen to 105 international sports federations and organisations.
Programmes and Projects
"One Sport, One Family", which is focused on Para Table Tennis Development and "Women´s Development" are the two programmes.
The projects are "Ping Pong Paix", Peace through Ping Pong in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo plus Nittaku Dream Building in El Salvador.
Presented in Quebec
The Spirit of Sport Awards 2012 will be presented to the Laureates during the 10th Annual SportAccord Convention in Quebec, Canada on Thursday 24th May 2012.
Organised annually, the awards commend the commitment and humanitarian spirit of SportAccord members who have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to using sport as a tool for positive social change.
Three projects and one individual will be selected for the Awards Ceremony in May.
"To be recognized by the international sports community is heart-warming; the ITTF does not engage in social and development programmes to be nominated and feel good, we do this work to spread the practice of our sport and at the same time use our sport as a vehicle for peace and positive social change”, said Adham Sharara, the President of the International Table Tennis Federation. “The four nominations are a reflection of this work and a great satisfying reward to our staff who work tirelessly to spread the message, most of the time under very difficult circumstances; many thanks are due to our staff."
Equally, Glenn Tepper, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the International Table Tennis Federation and Executive Director for Development was delighted.
“The ITTF Development Programme, now in its 14th year has gone about its work in a quiet way, fulfilling many great activities and programmes without seeking attention to or promoting what we are doing in the wider community”, he said. “Our work is now slowly becoming more known in the international community and is recognized as one of the best development programmes among the International Sports Federations; that Sport Accord, representing all International Sport Federations, has short-listed all four of our recent projects is a great honour and while not sought after is greatly appreciated."
One Sport, One Family
One Sport, One Family is a programme that aims to integrate Para Table Tennis within the ITTF structure at all levels, by raising the awareness of the Para Table Tennis movement among all ITTF national association members.
The goal is to include Para Table Tennis in all educational structures and promote the practice of Para Table Tennis worldwide; this policy of integration started 10 years ago and passed a milestone in 2008, when the International Table Tennis Federation signed a contract with the International Paralympic Committee, that transferred Para Table Tennis to the jurisdiction of the International Table Tennis Federation.
However development work started three years earlier in 2005 with coach education.
Courtesy of Leandro Olvech Photo courtesy of Leandro Olvech
Women’s Development Programme Concept
Established in 2003, the programme integrates various courses and similar to promote and provide for the advancement of women's opportunities, gender equality and women empowerment.
The aim is to educate and train women for leadership positions in general, not only in the International Table Tennis Federation but also within their continental or national associations and other microenvironments.
Also, the aim is to also to equip women with technical knowledge, so that they can play an active role in sport as officials, coaches. Eventually skills are acquired that are to be used in everyday life; the overall empowerment of women and strive for global and universal gender equity and equality.
A Decade of Effort
“The short listing of the ITTF Women's Development Programme by the SportAccord's Spirit of Sport Awards 2012 stands as a culmination of the past 10 years of commitment to provide equal opportunities for Women at all levels within the 217 member countries of the ITTF”, said Hajeera Kajee, Chair of the ITTF Women´s Working Group.
Nittaku Dream Building in El Salvador
Implemented in El Salvador in 11 venues and six provinces, the project helps children from communities at risk, especially areas where gangs are prominent, to use table tennis as a vehicle for a positive individual and social change in communities which lack of opportunities.
Table tennis offers a healthy and supervised activity for children who are at risk of being attracted to gangs.
"This is great news, we are very pleased and grateful to all who have helped us to implement this project, especially to the ITTF and the company NITTAKU”, said Melecio Rivera, President of the El Salvador Table Tennis Federation and ITTF Vice President. “Just the fact of being nominated for this important award makes us feel very proud and satisfied,"
The Nittaku project in El Salvador Photo courtesy of Leandro Olvech
Ping Pong Paix
As its name "Pong Pong Through Peace" suggests, the project aims to provide sport opportunities and an education of values by using sport to help children in impoverished neighbourhoods in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In partnership with Peace and Sport, the project helps to support the demobilization of child soldiers and to bring together children from different villages with tribal and ethnical conflicts.
“After Ping Pong Paz in Colombia, Ping Pong Ba Dame in Timor, we are very happy to work with the ITTF to have Ping Pong Paix in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo”, said Ludovic Hubler, Head of Programmes and Field Operations for Peace and Sport. “This project inaugurated with the participation of world champion and champion for Peace, Peter Karlsson, is already showing great results; kids who had never heard about table tennis want now to play every day.”
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been a war torn area.
“In this part of the world, which has suffered over 30 years of war with over five million people being killed, it feels good to see guns being replaced by rackets and bullets by table tennis balls”, Ludovic Hubler continued. “Through this new project, the ITTF is proving once again its strong wish to make a difference using table tennis as a tool"
Of course the financial and organizational support of the German Table Tennis Federation through Thomas Weikhart and Matheus Vatheur have been invaluable in this project, as has the equipment support of Butterfly, who have now suuported all three Peace and Sport projects.
Just being shortlisted four times is an honour.
I hope this motivates our continental and national federations to start organizing their own Sport Social Responsibility (SSR) projects in the near future and that the exposure of this nominations can bring more supporters to ITTF Dream Building, the details of which can be found by visiting www.ittfdream.com .
Meanwhile, SportAccord recently launched a Sport Social Responsibility Map including the projects from International Federations.
Visit http://www.sportaccord.com/en/map.php to witness the involvement of the International Table Tennis Federation.
It is an involvement in which the International Table Tennis Federation is prominent; of the 105 International Sport Federations members of SportAccord, the International Table Tennis Federation is shortlisted four times among 11 candidate projects or programmes.
A women’s course in Iraan Photo courtesy of Leandro Olvech
All shortlisted candidates are as follows:
World Chess Federation (FIDE): Chess Brings Freedom
International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA): The Netball Safari
International Military Sports Council (CISM): The 5th CISM Military World Games - The Peace Games
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): The ITTF Women's Development Programme
Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM): Riding towards a healthier future in the Gambia
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): One Sport, One Family
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI): Bike City
International Judo Federation (IJF): Judo for Children
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): Nittaku Dream Building
Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM): UIPM Environmentally Friendly Laser Shooting System
International Cricket Council (ICC): Think Wise
International Baseball Federation (IBAF): Beisbol por la Paz
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): Ping Pong Paix
International Water Ski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF): Mr Joe Ray
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF): Mr Hadi Saei Bonekohal
International Paralympic Committee (IPC): Ms Sylvana Mestre
The Spirit of Sport Award Commission
The Members of the Spirit of Sport Award Commission chaired by Mr Don Porter, President, International Softball Federation (ISF) are:
Mr Tamás Aján, President, International Weightlifting Federation (IWF)
Mr Keith Calkins, President, International Racquetball Federation (IRF)
Ms Marisol Casado, President, International Triathlon Union (ITU)
Ms Anita L. DeFrantz, Vice-President, international Rowing Federation (FISA)
Mr Ron Froehlich, President, international World Games Association (IWGA)
Ms Sarah Lewis, Secretary General, International Ski Federation (FIS)
Mr Klaus Schormann, President, Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM)
SportAccord: Mr Hein Verbruggen, President, SportAccord (no voting rights)
Leandro Olvech, ITTF Deputy Executive Director for Development stated "