07 Sep 2020

ITTF High Performance and Development (HPD) held its online video conference on Friday 4th September, the second presentation of a six-part series in the build-up to the ITTF Annual General Meeting (AGM), exploring the next steps in table tennis development through the new ITTF Development Plan.

Divided into eight sections, the conference showcased a number of key areas, including:

  • Presentation of the new ITTF Development Plan – focusing on Participation, Continents, High Performance and a Quick Pathway with direct Member Association (MA) guidance and monitoring.
  • Unveiling new education model “ITTF ACADEMY” – completely modernising the structure of education with a large extension of profiles available and a move to online and blended learning, expanding audience reach.

HPD’s recent and present success stories were also highlighted with the online Webinars, Weekly Training Lessons and Lessons with our Experts series to name but a few.

In total, 120 online attendees from MAs based across the world participated in the conference, with polling options available throughout, helping to play their part in shaping the many different areas of HPD programmes.

Moderated by ITTF European Marketing Manager Jonny Cowan, the panel of speakers was as follows:

  • ITTF President Thomas Weikert
  • High Performance and Development Director Polona Cehovin
  • HPD Operations Manager Dora Jeler
  • Continental Development Manager Katarzyna Kubas
  • High Performance Elite Coach Massimo Costantini
  • Head of Education Ramon Ortega-Montes


“We have been thinking for some time that there is a need for restructuring within our HPD department, and we approached that by paying attention to four basic principles: a commitment to education and sustainable development of our sport, a commitment to innovation and excellence, the need to strengthen our partnerships with relevant stakeholders, and to strengthen teamwork and interconnectivity with all our internal stakeholders. With the increase in staff within the department, we have now reached the point where we have sufficient resources, and expertise to be able to change the focus within the department. The primary aim here is that we are trying to provide for a gradual introduction of an increase in professionalism and development activities within our MAs.” Bruce Burton, Executive Vice President Development

“We were creative, and we are aware that it’s an ambitious plan, but we feel the time has come to properly address some critical aspects present in our sport, for instance: To globalise competitiveness. Offering a more diversified portfolio of tools and opportunities, in addition to more customised support, to better address the specific needs of the MAs and other stakeholders, which we also need to know better. This way we will create strong, local environments that will ensure real development, sustainability, growth, and professionalisation of TT…

… On the other hand we would also like to focus more on athlete development, significantly expand and modernise education, importantly contribute toward further popularisation of our sport, and much more – all of course while observing and respecting all the values that ITTF has committed to, such as good governance, excellence, inclusiveness, and clean sport.” Polona Cehovin, High Performance and Development Director

Restructuring the formula for the betterment of the sport was a clear theme very much at the heart of the conference, while education and participation also present key areas for HPD:

“We aim to diversify the participants in global education, having people not only from table tennis but schoolteachers, PE teachers, parents, people from other sports and even many people not previously involved in sport. We want to have many participants in education, to help prepare anyone involved in table tennis as much as possible, and we want to deliver a good service to the customer. All of this together will help create a good package.” Ramon Ortega-Montes, High Performance and Development Head of Education

“In the future, we want to focus on the connecting formula for success: K+N=S – Knowledge plus Numbers results in Success, which is why we are connecting our practical activities with educational sessions and advanced services.” Massimo Costantini, High Performance Elite Coach


Six interactive video conferences have been organised in the build-up to the AGM, according to the following schedule:

1) ITTF Foundation                                                                   1st September 13:00 CEST

2) High Performance and Development                             4th September 13:00 CEST

3) Governance: Propositions and Resolutions to AGM      7th September 13:00 CEST

4) Finance Forum                                                                   10th September 13:00 CEST

5) World Table Tennis                                                             14th September 13:00 CEST

6) World Championships 2023 bids                                      21st September 13:00 CEST

7) ITTF Annual General Meeting                                           28th September 13:00 CEST

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