In 2023, the project will have a slightly revised format, building on the success of previous years but focusing even further on strengthening leadership skills of women in table tennis while at the same time progressing Member Association development overall.
Moving from awareness to change, the new format will help to reach the ITTF’s overall goal and is a perfect vehicle for the implementation of the newly adopted Gender and Diversity plan.
“The MGMS project is very important and obviously works and helps our MAs to further develop the area of Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion”, says ITTF President Petra Sörling.
This year’s edition will enhance and advance women’s participation in table tennis by supporting ambitious and active female coaches in taking their coaching career to the next level, thus contributing to the development of their Member Association.
Each successful candidate will go through a three-stage process of elevating their leadership and management skills along with the core area of coaching. In the first stage, the candidates will have a chance to learn from experienced, top-level experts in the area of coaching. The second stage will be an opportunity to improve a candidate’s practical experience through participation in a selected athlete or coach-focused activity, such as the Hopes program or a youth training camp. At the last stage, the candidate will be responsible for implementing a two to three-day National Coaching Seminar for other female coaches, under the umbrella and with the full support of their respective Member Association.
The slightly adjusted focus of this year’s edition builds on the vast success of the previous editions. Last year, almost 1500 girls and women participated in various MGMS national initiatives such as schools’ projects or seminars for coaches, match officials, managers, and administrators, as well as a combination of training camps, tournaments, and workshops, which triggered a higher degree of awareness about gender balance. The MGMS project hugely impacted overall female participation, resulting in a total of 45% female participants in development activities in 2022.
In 2022, 14 African MAs applied to be part of MGMS, with Nigeria, Kenya, Eswatini, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, and Congo Brazzaville successfully securing support for the implementation of relevant national projects focused on increasing female participation and building capacities in female leadership within their associations. In the Americas, Cuba, Argentina, Honduras, and Mexico were selected out of 15 applicants. Sri Lanka, Maldives, Lebanon, and Iran were selected in Asia, and Tonga was the sole MA from Oceania to receive support for their national project.
Leadership remains one of the vital areas that require our focus. While one of the MGMS principles was that each project should contain also a leadership component to ensure that girls and women have well-designed career pathways in all their roles, from players to leaders, this year will ensure that an even higher focus is placed on this aspect. Some of the selected projects in the past paid particular attention to this area, such as the one of the Lebanon Table Tennis Federation.
“The MGMS project gave us the opportunity to encourage the sportswomen in Lebanon. During this project, we focused on the education of the female “physical education” students at university. They had a chance to assist the organizing committee of the WTT event that occurred in Lebanon. In addition to that, they attended a “Gender Leadership” workshop which was conducted by female experts in this field. We would like to thank ITTF Development for this motivational project.”. – said Rita Bsaibes, Deputy Secretary General at LTTF.
The second example comes from Nigeria:
“My Gender, My Strength has successfully reignited hope in the life of young girls in Nigeria and they are so expectant for more. The girls now have hope that they can dream big and achieve it because they are better informed Nigerians having been exposed to Table Tennis, French language, Setting & Mapping of Goals etc. The girls are now more determined and empowered to chart a career in table tennis while living a life of purpose because their inherent potentials have been unlocked with the confidence that their gender is their strength”, said Oluwaseun Nariwoh, the National Project Coordinator in Nigeria.
One of the participants of the Project in Nigeria said: “The Giant in me is finally awoken and I’m ready to be a disciplined and morally upright table tennis champion.“
MGMS runs continuously across four continents so Member Associations of Africa, Americas and Asia are invited to select and apply with one female coach to benefit from the project through the following link:
The deadline to submit the applications is 14 May 2023.
The incentive will also be available to Oceania’s coaches in due course.