by Katarzyna Kubas, Continental Development Manager
In line with the ITTF Strategic Plan, Continental Development Memoranda of Understanding aim at developing systems based on objective factors and realistic needs, whilst being guided by good governance.
The Strategic Plan introduced the national association categorization concept, which establishes a needs-based approach following an objective and comprehensive set of criteria: technical, demographics, management and membership. Its goal is also to ensure an effective use of ITTF investment. Significantly, the considerable 30 per cent overall increase in funding for 2019 and 2020 amounts to a planned investment of US$1,500,000 per year.
Each Memorandum of Understanding is designed in accordance with each continent’s profile and portfolio. A common thread and one of the major pillars that must be included is a set of enhanced High Performance initiatives, a complex and optimized range of activities that aim at developing future stars of our sport from all corners of the World.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed with the European Table Tennis Union provides the opportunity to enrich and expand initiatives through efficient support and evaluation of a well-structured path for table tennis development of young promising athletes through the EuroTalents Programme.
Furthermore, the strengthened National Associations Assistance Programme aims to identify and support associations with greater basic development needs.
“I am very pleased for table tennis development in Europe that the ITTF has reached out to Europe and now intensively supports and strengthens our Development Programme, which we started in 2014. Apart from the overall development of our sport, I hope this co-operation will further boost our high performance efforts to close the gap with our Asian friends.” Ronald Kramer
In conclusion, the ITTF-ETTU Development Programme will strengthen the talent identification programmes through the hosting of under 12, under 13, under 15 and under 17 development camps. At these camps highly talented youth players will receive top level technical, physical, mental and tactical preparation.
Additionally, the agreed programmes will provide an educational platform where experiences and opinions can be exchanged, as well as skills and knowledge increased.
Furthermore, the aim is to consider the development needs of the whole continent, starting with demanding high performance activities to basic development courses for associations focusing more on grassroots.
Each continent has already received a copy of a customized Memorandum of Understanding; to date only the European Table Tennis Union has signed for 2019-2020 and is thus eligible to access the relevant funds and benefits. Until further signings take place, the programmes in the other continents will be applied based on the current schemes.
Notably in addition to Thomas Weikert and Ronald Kramer, both Pedro Moura, ETTU Vice President and Petra Sörling, Executive Vice President, attended the signing of the memorandum.