27 Nov 2018

A project initiated by Birgitta Kervinen, the 2017 winner of the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sport World Trophy, the New Leaders Sport Leadership Education Programme provides mentoring support for a selected group who display initiative.

At the announcements made at the recent European Olympic Committee General Assembly in Marbella, both Galia Dvorak, member of ITTF Athletes Commission and Chair of ETTU Athletes’ Commission, alongside Pierre Kass, the ETTU Deputy Secretary-General, received the honour of being named as “Game Changers”.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

They will now join the concept and thus have the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills.

An educational programme, the initiative is co-ordinated by the National Olympic Committee of Finland in liaison with the National Olympic Committees of Lithuania, Ireland and Azerbaijan. In addition it is supported by the International Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committee.

“I feel honoured to be accepted in the programme. I am striving to create change. Improving leadership skills is of major value. I am focused on achieving gender equality in our sport,” Pierre Kass

Over 50 applications were received from highly qualified and motivated sports professionals from 28 countries, covering all four compass points of the continent.

“I felt very happy and honoured when I found out that I was accepted in the programme. I think it will be a good opportunity to learn and to improve my leadership skills, always having in mind to apply this knowledge in our sport and help athletes.” Galia Dvorak

Eventually, 30 game changers from 26 countries were named and approved by the European Olympic Committee Gender Equality Commission.

Understandably, Ronald Kramer, President of the European Table Tennis Union was delighted when the receiving the news.

“On one hand it reflects the ambition of ETTU to invest in the professional quality of our people by initiating support for their eagerness to learn. On the other hand it is recognition of the quality of the applicants and of their leadership skills and ambitions. I wish Galia and Pierre a lot of pleasure, success and good luck in this unique learning experience.” Ronald Kramer

One of the goals in the programme is that no new leader is left without support from an experienced mentor.

Recent winner of the Women and Sport World Trophy, Daina Gudzineviciute, a member of the International Olympic Committee in addition to being a European Olympic Committee Executive Board member and President of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, is expected be one of the mentors.

“I am sure that the New Leaders’ Programme will help the participants to acquire knowledge, develop skills and enhance self-confidence. I am very happy to join this project and as a mentor I will support participants and share my experience.” Daina Gudzineviciute

The programme is designed to encourage those with leadership qualities to shape the future of sport, designing policies and in particular meet the gender recommendations of the International Olympic Committee.

General News Galia Dvorak Ronald Kramer Pierre Kass