29 Dec 2017

It is with a mixture of emotions I write my final annual thank you to those supporting the ITTF Development and Education and Training Programmes.

A wonderful journey of 19 years will end for me as a new team and a new direction will take ITTF forward.

by Glenn Tepper, ITTF Deputy Chief Executive Officer responsible for Development and Education and Training

I will allow myself the luxury to reminisce a little….

In 1999 the ITTF Development Programme began as a pilot project in Oceania. I was the first Oceania Development Officer.

The budget was US$ 60,000 (US$ 30,000 from ITTF and US$ 30,000 from ONOC) which included my salary, around 12 airfares annually, my hospitality for 12 courses and all course costs, so sleeping on people’s floors, catching local buses and hitchhiking and other cost savings were common.

In 2001 I was asked to expand the ITTF Development Programme to the other continents and set up an ITTF Coach Accreditation Scheme.

Amatur Romania embraced World Table Tennis Day in 2017 (Photo: courtesy of Amatur Romania)


Since 1999:
  •  There was been 2,183 Development and Education & Training Programme courses conducted including Coach Education, Training Camps, URC Courses, PTT Courses, Hopes Weeks, Administration Courses, Marketing Courses, Coaching Seminars and Women’s Courses.
  • 1,379 countries received equipment assistance, being either a major equipment package of tables-nets-rackets-balls, or rackets-balls, or ITTF Manuals.
  • Multiple International Awards including: Peace and Sport Awards, Beyond Sport Awards, Sport Accord Spirit of Sport Awards, 360 Sports Marketing Making a Difference Awards, and FICTS – Federation Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs Sports Movies and TV Awards
  • The ITTF Coach Accreditation Scheme commenced in 2004. Glenn Tepper (AUS) produced the overall syllabus and wrote the ITTF L1 Coaching Manual, Leandro Olvech (ARG) and Alejandra Gabaglio (ARG) wrote the PTT L1 Coaching Manual and Philippe Molodzoff (FRA) wrote the ITTF Advanced Coaching Manual
  • Over 6,700 coaches have been accredited through the ITTF Coach Accreditation Scheme
  • In 2017 ITTF became the first sport to have every country on earth as a member with 226 members, a project which began in 1999 when ITTF Membership was 180, and was progressively added to each year in a sustainable manner adding a few countries every year.
  • ITTF Development and Education Programmes currently have 10 full-time staff, hundreds of part-time course conductors and a budget of US$2,250,000 from ITTF, IOC, Olympic Solidarity and sponsors.
Development in Latin America (Photo: ITTF)


ITTF Development Programme has conducted well over 100 courses per year, assists over 60 self-funded ITTF Coach Accreditation Courses, provides equipment assistance to approximately 30 countries per year, while conducting many humanitarian and social projects through ITTF Dream Building.

The ITTF Education & Training Programme, initiated in 2009, has also made a major contribution to worldwide table tennis development at the next level, and works hand in hand with the ITTF Development Programme, with the highly successful ITTF Hopes Programme, a network of ITTF Training Centers, while providing “With the Future in Mind Olympic and Youth Olympic Games Scholarships”, ITTFEducation.com online learning including “Spins and Skills” coaching films, coaching mentorship project, and “Rough Diamonds” training camps, all part of the ITTF Athlete Development Model.

Medallists ar the 2017 ITTF World Hopes Week (Photo: ITTF)


2017 Highlights
  • “Every country on Earth” as a member of ITTF! This 19 year project was realized at the 2017 ITTF AGM with the addition of the last four countries on earth-Eritrea, Cape Verde, Bahamas and Guinea Bisseau. No other sport has achieved this milestone! See “Every country on earth” Film


  • ITTF Administration Course released. This online course comprises 8 modules, with 55 topics and takes 18 hours to fully complete, and is the next step in “ITTF DNA-Developing National Associations”


  • The third World Table Tennis Day, now on April 6 every year, brought this event to new heights with 453 events across 93 countries, and involving 90,000 people See: 2017 World Table Tennis Day Film


  • The ITTF Athlete Development Model continued to be strengthened with Hopes, “Rough Diamonds”, Seamaster and World Cadet Challenge Camps, and “With the Future in Mind” Scholarships all providing excellent talent identification and pathways to the top.


Team Effort

The success of the ITTF Development and Education Programs is very much a team effort. Deepest thanks to those that contributed to the success including:

ITTF Presidents

Current ITTF President Thomas Weikert, and former ITTF President Adham Sharara who initiated the ITTF Development Programme in 1999, for their strong commitment to development and education, a cornerstone and critical part of ITTF success.

The number of qualified coaches and course conductors increased greatly in India 2017 (left to right) Brijesh Acharya, Ashwin Padukone, Vismay Vyas, Harpreet Singh Bamrah (Photo: Richard McAfee)


ITTF Executive Committee

The ITTF Executive Committees, past and present for their support and advice.

ITTF Continental Vice Presidents

Current ITTF Continental Vice Presidents Khaled El Salhy (Africa), Cai Zhenhua (Asia), Ronald Kramer (Europe), Juan Vila (Latin America), Gordon Kaye (North America), Anthony Ho (Oceania), as well as those presidents that preceded them, for their close co-operation and leadership.

The Para element always opened eyes, the Bahamas, one of the countries that completed the full house for the ITTF in 2017 was no exception (Photo: Richard McAfee)


Development, Education and Training Staff

The passionate and hard-working Development and Education & Training staff :

Leandro Olvech, ITTF Director-Development, Polona Cehovin Susin-ITTF Director Education & Training; Michael Brown, Dejan Papic and Daniela Gomes for their contributions to Development and Education & Training.

Continental Development Officers: Michael Brown (Africa), Afshin Badiee (Asia), Neven Cegnar (Europe), Ramon Ortega Montes (Latin America), Mireille Tallon (North America) and Michael Brown (Oceania) for their untiring efforts in implementing the Continental Development Plans.

We should also mention those staff that served ITTF as Development and Education & Training staff previously including (in order of first hiring): Mikael Andersson (SWE), Babatunde Obisanya (NGR), Evelio Alvarez (CUB), Zita Pidl (HUN), Steve Dainton (AUS), Roman Plese (CRO), Surendra Suwal (NEP), Andrew Hubbard (NZL), Scott Houston (AUS), Lilamani de Soysa (SUI), Ahmed Dawlatly (EGY).

A total of 88 ITTF Coaches and Course Conductors that conducted 135 ITTF Development and Education Programme or Olympic Solidarity Courses in 2017 (in alphabetical order)

(Of course we must also thank the hundreds of course conductors that led courses for ITTF over the last 19 years that are too many to mention)

Karima Tellaa conducted a successful women’s project in Bahrain (Photo: courtesy of Karima Tellaa)


To those that conducted courses in 2017, we salute you in this important work!

Ashraf Abdel-Fatah (EGY), Vida Abdi (IRI), Brijesh Acharya (IND), Nigel Adams (RSA), Mehran Ahadi (IRI), Freddy Almendariz (ECU), Mohamed Atoum (JOR), Harpreet Singh Bamrah (IND), Mohamed Bassiouny (EGY), Konata Beluchi (JAM), Isabelle Beumier (BEL), Michael Brown (AUS), Milton Catalan (GUA), Neven Cegnar (CRO), Chan Foong Keong (MAS), Chan Kee Chien (MAS), Christina Chee (MAS), Chen Zhibin (CHN), Sydney Christophe (USA), Ahmed Dawlatly (EGY), Elena Timina (NED), Carlos Esnard (ESA), Ricardo Faria (POR), Michel Gadal (FRA), Cathy Gauthier (NCL), Mohamed Gharib (EGY), Stephen Gillespie (AUS), Nicolas Guigon (FRA), Guo Ping (CHN), Sarah Hanffou (FRA), Christian Holtz (AUS), Hisham Ismail (EGY), Eva Jeler (GER), Ferenc Karsai (HUN), Arif Khan (PAK), Istvan Korpa (GER), Kaka Lawson (TOG), Andy Lee (SIN), Cindy Leung (HKG), Li Jiao (NED), Li Xiao Dong (CHN), Christian Lillieroos (USA), Liu Jiayi (CHN), Anver Lyners (RSA), Ramzi Bel Haj Mabrouk (TUN), Jessica Macaskill (NZL), Fernando Malheiro (POR), Richard McAfee (USA), Noema Mena (CUB), Ramon Ortgea Montes (ESP), Kazem Mostahaghi (IRI), Ronald Mugwanya (UGA), Jamil Nasibi (IRI), Parinya Nonsagate (THA), Afshin Noroozi (IRI), Vesna Ojstersek (SLO), Ricardo Oliviera (POR), Leandro Olvech (ARG), Martin Ostermann (LUX), Ashwin Kumar Padukone (IND), Dejan Papic (CAN), Luisana Perez (VEN), Fatemeh Rajabi (IRI), Sandra Riettie (JAM), Cédric Rouleau (FRA), Donald Salmon (JAM), Peter Sartz (SWE), Francisco Seijas (VEN), Korakji Sermkijseree (THA), Georg Silberschmidt (SUI), Maxime Surprenant (CAN), Karima Tellaa (ALG), Glenn Tepper (AUS), Joze Urh (SLO), Jose Urrutia (CHI), Vismay Vyas (IND), Sean Wallace (JAM), Ronald Wee (SIN), Wajira Wickramasinghe (SRI), Grant Wilson (NZL), Sheng Wu (TPE), Aiman Fazeer Yap (MAS), Lincon Yasuda (BRA), Aleksey Yefremov (BLR), Zhang Yining (CHN), Fariba Zadeh (IRI), Zhang Ying Qiu (CHN), Michael Zwipp (GER)

Mexico hosted a successful Basic Umpires Course (Photo: courtesy of Freddy Almendariz)


The Manufacturers and Supporters

Thanks to Butterfly and Stag for their kind and unwavering support of the ITTF Development and Education Programs since 1999.
Double Happiness, Nittaku, Xiom, Tibhar and Ipong for funding special projects for multiple years.
German Table Tennis Association for their ongoing equipment support since 2006.

Foundation for Global Sports Development for their ongoing support of the ITTF Development and Education & Training since 2009

Olympic Solidarity and in particular Pere Miro, and Coaches Department-Yassine Yousfi, Carina Dragomir, and Cynthia Anami and Athletes Department- Edward Kensington, Olivier Niamkey, Silvia Lucciarini, and Frank Michellod for their close co-operation and support.

Ghana benefitted from the efforts of Ping Sans Frontières (Photo: courtesy of Sarah Hanffou)


ITTF Staff

ITTF staff members who worked closely and tirelessly with the ITTF Development and Education & Training Programs over the years (alphabetically):

Emese Barsai, Silvia Bernhard, Habiba Besic, Raul Calin, Jonny Cowan, Steve Dainton, Joachim Davy, Mohamed El-Dawlatly, Mo El-Shentenawy, Vicky Eleftheriade, Etsuko Enami, Judit Farago, Leah Guo, Kimberly Koh, Ian Marshall, Matt Pound, Jordi Serra, Zena Sim, Lilamani de Soysa, Claudia Vatheuer, and Caifeng Yang.

All of you have made a big contribution to the development and education of table tennis worldwide!

Thank you!

ITTF Refugee project in Turkey (Photo: courtesy of Ahmed Dawlatly)
High Performance and Development Glenn Tepper