25 May 2021

A total of 39 years of unwavering service to the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation; on Friday 26th March, the tenure of office as President for Mr. Emmanuel Kolibadis came to a close.

He handed over the reins of responsibility in a most harmonious and convivial manner to the man he recommended as the successor, former member of the national team Konstantinos Papageorgiou.

by Ian Marshall

The Secretary-General for the first 12 years, the end of the era was conducted in line with the law approved recently in the Hellenic parliament that does not allow the occupation of such administrative public positions for those over 70 years of age.

Furthermore, re-election is not permitted for over three terms of office.

However, Mr. Kolibadis is not lost to the sport of table tennis; he continues in his position as the Secretary-General of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.

“I had the right to be elected as a member of the Hellenic Federation’s Board, but I chose to limit myself as the Federation’s representative to the Hellenic Olympic Committee, to this day I hold the office of the Secretary General. I will continue to assist our sport at all levels.” Emmanuel Kolibadis

Dedicated service and understandably there was an air of nostalgia as he reflected on almost four decades of office.

“I wish to express my warmest thanks to all of you that I have collaborated with through all these years, the International Table Tennis Federation, the European Table Tennis Union, the Mediterranean Union and the Balkans Table Tennis Union. I am particularly happy that I had the opportunity to offer my services to our sport at a national and international level.” Emmanuel Kolibadis

In a reflective mood, equally Mr. Kolibadis was positive as he looked to the future and to his successor. Konstantinos Papageorgiou, the man who will be forever remembered for ousting Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner in the first round of the men’s singles event at the Liebherr 2003 World Championships. Ten years later, Papageorgiou played a major role alongside Panagiotis Gionis and Kalinikos Kreanga in gaining Greece silver in the 2013 European Championships men’s team event.

“I kindly ask you to offer every possible support and assistance to our new President, Mr. Konstantinos Papageorgiou, as an athlete he was a national team leader his knowledge and experiences gained over the years, gives him all guarantees to lead the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation to greater heights.” Emmanuel Kolibadis

Mr. Kolibadis (pictured far right) passes the reins of office to Mr. Konstantinos Papageorgiou (far left).

It is more farewell than goodbye; the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation will always be at the heart of Mr. Kolibadis.

“Thank you wholeheartedly once again for the co-operation and the confidence you have shown all these years in me. I salute you and wish you good luck and every success in your work.” Emmanuel Kolibadis

A change of leadership but one fact remains the same, the fortunes of the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation are in safe hands, the safe hands of Konstantinos Papageorgiou; for Emmanuel Kolibadis that is the best departing present possible.

General News Konstantinos Papageorgiou Emmanuel Kolibadis