by Dora Jeler, High Performance and Development Operations Manager
Significantly, “With the Future in Mind” is a joint programme administered by Olympic Solidarity and the International Table Tennis Federation. Since its inception it has been a core component of the Athlete Development Model, targeting prospects from non-traditional table tennis markets in the pursuit of their Olympic Dream.
Now, this year, an expansion has been made to include a group of athletes from established table tennis markets; thus increasing the numbers benefitting from the initiative.
The scholarships provide a bridge from the expanded High Performance pathway to the Road to Tokyo and Road to Dakar, with several athletes having progressed from the Hopes Programme via High Performance training camps to the Olympic pathway. A major goal is to enable the athletes to attend high quality training camps and compete in the most suitable events.
Notably, with the expansion of this year’s High Performance Programme, athletes are able to choose from a wide range of activities for training. Furthermore, the educational component of the scholarship programme provides up-to-date and highly applicable know-how to coaches and national associations via modern educational methods.
During the last scholarship cycle, 23 athletes were supported in their quest to reach the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Prominent names who have benefitted include Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, Egypt’s Omar Assar, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling.
With The Future in Mind is not the only programme assisting athletes on their road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; Olympic Solidarity supports a further 28 athletes in achieving their Olympic dream.
ITTF High Performance: With the Future in Mind – Athletes