// A hybrid model of the Participation Program proven to be successful - International Table Tennis Federation

24 Feb 2022

The year 2021 started on a sombre note as the world witnessed a lull in sport participation and competition; the coronavirus pandemic was still rampant a year after its beginnings. The situation presented us with an opportunity to introduce one of the pillars of the 2021-2024 Development Plan, engaging all our Member Associations (MAs) through the innovation and implementation of the 2021 ITTF Participation Program.

Launched on 14 May 2021, the 2021 ITTF Participation Program included three components: ITTF Online Services, “Analyse & Rise” packages in cooperation with Stupa Analytics and the MAs’ own National Projects. The first two provided a Member Associations focused approach that saw players, coaches and officials interacting with the ITTF Experts via two online platforms, Pingprofy and Stupa.

The eight online services reached members across the world through Pingprofy, with a total of 16 hours offered to each Member Association. The most popular of services were “Creating Member Association Development Plans” and “Creating National Team Plans”, both of which centre around planning, which is a key to success. Many associations found the “ITTF Member Associations Categorization” service very useful in terms of creating development pathways and helping to improve their category level. The “Coach-the-Coach” service had a great deal of interest and allowed coaches to interact with ITTF Experts, benefiting from their valuable guidance and support. Very special attention was paid to “PTT Integration” to guide associations in promoting directions in the integration process, and “2021-2024 Olympic Solidarity Programs and Guidelines”, which served to familiarize the MAs with the programs and assist with applications. Two other services were more practically oriented, engaging coaches and players onsite with the ITTF Experts working remotely.

“The service is very useful, as many coaches can benefit from it in a relatively short period of time. The Brazilian colleagues were very interested and keen on exchanging ideas. The service structure enabled them to ask interesting questions on various topics, which then triggered discussion and debates that were very productive for everyone present” Eva Jeler (AUS), ITTF Expert Coach-the-Coach


Coach-the-Coach service with Brazil led by ITTF Expert Eva Jeler

Upon completion of the 16 hours, Member Associations received a financial support to (co)-fund their own developmental National Projects, the second component of the ITTF 2021 Participation Program. After the first year of the pandemic, the involved Member Associations were very eager and enthusiastic to start onsite activities and organized around 163 development activities on the ground. The support given was quite helpful to a lot of the Associations to support development activities in their countries. These developmental national activities included the organization of training camps, national championships and youth tournaments, educational programmes, women’s and youth projects. Some of the Member Associations claimed for their staff support and others purchased equipment.

“We were able to host two consecutive National Festivals in primary schools in order to promote table tennis not only in schools but also in the community. With these festivals we intend to awaken the interest for table tennis in children and teenagers as well as attract new talents. But for this, it will also be necessary to acquire some support materials such as rackets, balls, nets, tables, trophies. Angola Table Tennis Association 1st Vice President, Mr Helder de Almeida”

National Festival in Angola

The use of technology was not only limited to the new ITTF online services’ video conferencing but also a remote performance analysis was presented by Stupa Analytics. This specially customised “Analyse & Rise” basic package of artificial intelligence based performance analysis was offered to all 226 Member Associations as the third component of the Program.

Stupa Analytics provided Member Associations with an option to upload videos of their athletes to be analysed, and the outcomes were shared with the coaches and athletes. Putting such a tool in the hands of Member Associations presented another opportunity to improve and increase their potential for podium finishes.

Analyse & Rise by Stupa Analytics

“The first year of the ITTF Participation Program was very exciting and successful. Many efforts were taken by our ITTF HPD (High Performance & Development) colleagues in this initiative considering the circumstances in which the world was experiencing. The ITTF HPD Experts developed the online services’ content, delivered more than a thousand hours of the eight services that elicited a lot of positive feedback from the attendees. More than 70 Member Associations could organize development activities with the program package support. The interaction with Member Associations has brought the organisation even closer to its members in a more positive and different way.” Yelena Druzhkova, ITTF Head of Participation

In the upcoming weeks, the 2022 edition of the ITTF Participation Program will be launched with the new diversified content, the expansion of the online services menu and new incentives from our partners. Stay tuned for the 2022 Program specifics.

Details for the ITTF Participation Program can be also accessed here.

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