by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa Press Officer
In addition, Adham Sharara and ITTF President Thomas Weikert, who were not present, as well as Michael Brown, ITTF and Africa-Oceania Development Co-ordinator were present for the occasion.
“I want to express my appreciation to ITTF and ITTF Africa for their support throughout my romance with table tennis in the last four decades, I am hopeful that my successor, Dr. Alaa Meshref will bring good tidings to Africa as I believe that the future is bright. I must acknowledge the support of former ITTF President, Adham Sharara as well as the incumbent President, Thomas Weikert for their support during my tenure. I still want to feel and smell table tennis and I will be available to advise if I am called upon.” Chérif Hajem
Now 71 years old, the journey taken by Cherif Hajem started in 1969 when, at 23 years of age, he became the Secretary General of Tunisia Table Tennis Federation; four years later, he became President.
He relinquished the post in 1973 to become the President of the Tunisian Table Tennis Federation, an office he held until 1995, a period of 23 years, when accepting the title of Honorary President. It a position, he continues to occupy.
Later in 1974 he was elected to the Council of the African Table Tennis Federation, he became Secretary-General in 1980, relinquishing the post in 1995 to become President. He remained in office until 2010, when being elected ITTF Executive Vice President.
Now, Honorary President of the African Table Tennis Federation, Chérif Hajem was a member of the ITTF Board of Directors from 1981 to 2008, being the Continental Vice President from 1995 to 2008.
Notably in 2012, Chérif Hajem received “La Médaille d’honneur du Conseil Supérieur du Sport en Afrique”, by the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa in recognition of his contribution to sport in the Africa.
The award recognises outstanding contributions made to sport over a long period; it was well deserved.