Welcomed by the ETTU President Mr Ronald KRAMER, Petra SORLING thanked the Congress for the turnout and reflected that over the years since her election to the ITTF Executive Committee in 2009, she had attended every ETTU Congress finding them extremely useful to debate important topics, address issues, and share ideas for the future of table tennis.
Having been at the African Games last week to update Continental colleagues alongside enjoying the table tennis action, ITTF CEO Steve DAINTON travelled to Nantes, invited to speak at the Congress on ITTF business matters. Dainton’s presentation – which you can view here – included reflection on how the business of table tennis is progressing both on and off the table with analysis of how medals have been won (both at World Championships and Olympic Games) as well as media revenue derived around the world. The dominance by one country is very clear. The very low commercial returns from Europe were also discussed, along with the need to change what we are doing in order to address the lack of revenues within the sport.
Dainton also updated on key workstreams at the ITTF including the New World Championships, World Table Tennis, The Home of Table Tennis and High Performance & Development. The ITTF CEO also reflected on the investment into Europe from the ITTF, and asked Congress the question whether there was a different way of supporting Europe through the member Associations directly or to simply continue via the Continent. A final view that outlined that it would of course be acceptable if ITTF and ETTU decide to co-exist and operate separately, and equally acceptable if the collaboration was to be enhanced within the changes required for table tennis – these are the things to be worked through to enable the activity and implementation to take priority so that we can all achieve results and outcomes for table tennis.
To close the presentation, there were some great questions and comments from the Congress which were warmly received and debated.