02 Feb 2017

Supply and demand, it is the basic law of economics; for the impending Liebherr 2017 World Championships, to be staged in the German city of Düsseldorf from Monday 29th May 2017 to Monday 5th June, the former outweighs the latter.

Almost 600 volunteers have applied to assist with the smooth organisation of the prestigious event; it is twice the number required.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, it is a most impressive response in a relatively short period of time; the application process, under the direction of Rico Pilz, responsible for marketing and event organisation, did not commence until early June 2016.

“The volunteers could apply via an online form. The applications were imported by a csv-export into my “WTTC-volunteers-database”. Traditionally we also offer the possibility to send us a form by fax or post but I estimate that more than 98 per cent used the online based method”, Rico Pilz

An imposing number; moreover the response has not been only from Germany.

Impressively, submissions have been received from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

“We are very pleased with the response and the number of applications. Unfortunately we cannot consider all applicants and over 250 applicants will be on a waiting list. They will move in, if other volunteers cancel their participation because of illness, holidays or whatever; we’re planning on 280 to 300 volunteers”, Rico Pilz

Undoubtedly a most successful campaign; it is one which reflects very positively on the ability of the German Table Tennis Association to organise major events.

My mind returns to the 2002 Commonwealth Games staged in the rainy English city of Manchester, the first time table tennis was staged in the multi-sport event. On the concluding day, as I climbed on the bus to return to the apartment where I was lodged, I heard one volunteer, who had been allotted to car park duty, say “It’s been hard work but it’s been great fun”.

He was correct; the only air sadness was that a memorable occasion had come to an end.

“We have in total more than 15 different tasks or areas such as public sports, catering, copy service, information service, logistics, security, transportation service and media service. Each of these areas has different jobs to do, each area has one or more task managers who will co-ordinate the areas”, Rico Pilz

Good organisation made 2002 in Manchester memorable; detailed organisation is a German hallmark.

They hosted a successful World Team Championships in 2006 and in 2012. Such events have established a reputation and, whilst volunteers may hope they can rub shoulders with the world’s very best, they know that in Düsseldorf, they will be well looked after, the administration will be efficient but moreover it will be fun!

Simply in Germany we trust.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Rico Pilz

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