The Participation Officers or “The Soldiers on the Ground” as fondly called by the department director, Ms Polona Cehovin, have been involved directly in the delivery of the Participation Program activities around the world, providing guidance and support to our Member Associations.
The ITTF Experts crisscrossed the globe in delivering the most sought-after product on offer, the MA Activity. It allows members to choose a development activity suited to their needs and priorities, and most beneficial to their progress. The involvement of an ITTF Expert is the icing on the cake as they learn and interact with them physically.
Different peculiar and interesting requests were received in 2022. A case in point is the Para Table Tennis Training camp that was hosted by New Caledonia with Trevor James Hirth Ply as the Expert. Trevor is a familiar face in Para Table Tennis and his involvement in the training camp was a marvel for those who have seen him represent his country Australia at the highest competitions. A first-of-its-kind activity in Oceania, participants in attendance ranged from thirteen (13) to fifty-seven (57) years of age.
“With the support of my husband, I joined Para table tennis to continue with my passion for sport. With the help of an Olympian and Expert from ITTF, I am very hopeful that one day I will also represent my country at the highest level of table tennis.” 57 year old participant Ms. Hahine Ligo.
Suriname Table Tennis Federation in the Americas hosted a Women’s Activity that focused on practical table tennis skills during the training camp in Nickerie and leadership skills enhancement during the Community Leadership course in Wageningen. With the number of female participants in sports dwindling, the association saw it fit to encourage women and girls’ participation in this particular program.
A full bouquet of eleven ITTF Online Services with options of up to 10 hours per Member Association was offered in 2022. The online sessions through videoconferencing were supported by Pingprofy, our program partner, which marked the second year working with the organization to successfully deliver many hours of online services. One of the most popular was Creating MA Development Plans, which shows the interest and need of our Members for continuous improvement and development.
Different National Activities were organized by the Member Associations as well, which is the third component of the 2022 Participation Program. Among various national projects ranging from training camps to National Championships worldwide, many focus on youth development, including school projects and talent identification programs. Thus, the Member Association of Guinea Bissau organized “Table Tennis in Schools” which was conducted from 25 October to 25 November 2022 with massive participation of girls and boys who showed a lot of interest in playing table tennis and becoming professional players representing the country in the international arena.
Not only are grassroots activities part of the program, but those of a higher level as well. With a focus on youth development, the National Top 10 Youth Table Tennis Championships were organized in Singapore. The young athletes competed from 8 to 10 December 2022 and showed excellent performance.
As the curtain closes for the year 2022, Member Associations are waiting with bated breath and anticipation for the 2023 Participation Program. It is a sign of good working relations between the Members and the ITTF Development Department. In celebration of this, we say chole! To the end of the 2022 ITTF Participation Program!
The ITTF Participation Program promises to be enticing and fully loaded for all in the following year. With our partners, Stupa Analytics, StreetTT, an enriched Online Services menu and diversified offer of table tennis activities, 2023 will be a feast befitting a king for the Member Associations to enjoy!