14 Dec 2018

A special meeting was held in Incheon, Korea Republic ahead of the 2018 ITTF Star Awards and Seamaster ITTF World Tour Grand Finals on Wednesday 12th December; it was the first meeting of the incoming ITTF Athletes Commission.

Ten of the Commission members, joined by interim Chair and IOC member Ryu Seungmin, had the task of electing their new chair and deputy chair positions for the next four years.

by Matt Hetherington

Commission members from around the globe gathered and table tennis legends Zoran Primorac (Croatia) and Jean-Michel Saive (Belgium) delivered their candidate presentations. After the voting procedure ended it was Primorac who succeeded as the elected Chair of the Commission.

With two female candidates – Galia Dvorak (Spain) and Dana Čehová (Czech Republic) standing for Deputy Chair, it was decided by the Commission to appeal the gender balance rule on account of a lack of male candidates, and allow two female Deputy Chairs. The Executive Committee the following day approved and the appointments were made official.

One sentiment echoed by many of the members was the need to be a unified force working towards common goals and to capitalize on the special skills of each commission member in order to best serve the greater athletes body.

The Commission has already worked closely with the ITTF Foundation and secured financial support for Hungarian national player Alexa Szvitacs who suffered recently a life threatening illness which has resulted in life changing impacts on her body and physical capabilities as an athlete.

The Commission was very grateful for the assistance of the ITTF Foundation and their cooperation for this humanitarian cause to help support an athlete in need.

With player representatives from every continent and different backgrounds, this Athletes Commission is hoping to make a major difference in how athletes are represented and to become a fighting force for athlete rights, protection and opportunities.

The members of the commission will be very focused on communication with athletes and will be making a focused effort through the ITTF Athletes’ Commission page to deliver and keep athletes informed of their goals, priorities and to open up a channel of communication for athletes to express issues and feedback.

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Athletes Commission Zoran Primorac