02 Aug 2023

With the first six months of the year under wrap, ITTF Development is issuing its 2023 Mid-Year Progress Report, detailing the status of its Projects and Programmes within the continents.

“As we reach the mid-year mark, we are pleased to share the progress made in 2023. As always, our efforts have been focused on providing transformative and tangible support across the membership worldwide, while also striving to innovate, collaborate and empower, so that table tennis may flourish in a sustainable and prosperous way and spread sporting excellence to a very diverse and inclusive global table tennis community. To develop, grow, promote and level the playing field of table tennis across the globe, which is in short our mission, is a lengthy and complex process, but we are extremely pleased and thankful for the responsiveness and proactivity of the growing number of stakeholders that travel along with us on this exciting journey and are actually those that bring life to the Development Programs and Projects we have been developing.” – Polona Cehovin, ITTF Development Director

Now in its third year, the hugely popular Participation Program kicked off in January, continuing to provide tailored support to Member Associations. Expanding once again, four new Online Services were added to its menu: Sustainability, Integrity, Competition Management, and Event Delivery. Member Associations also continue to benefit from support for national initiatives, through a Member Association Activity conducted by the Participation Officers or an ITTF Expert, or a National Project, delivered locally by the MA itself. As the Program is carried out in a three-year-cycle, continuous participation is encouraged and rewarded through additional support.

Ramzi Alsharabi (YEM), participant in the DMA Activity in Yemen

Under the umbrella of our Development Projects, we invited applications for two athlete-focused incentives, the Continental Youth Grants and the PTT Athlete Grants, receiving numerous applications from talented athletes and resulting in the selection of 31 Youth Grant and 12 Para Table Tennis Athlete Grant beneficiaries who will be able to benefit from financial and technical assistance, aiming at enhancing their training opportunities and bolster their attendance at international events. Besides Athlete Development, Capacity Building is the second pillar of our Projects. Our Regional Initiatives continue to foster cooperation and accelerate development within the regions by identifying common needs of neighbouring Member Associations, maximising development growth within individual MAs as well as across regions, as demonstrated by the recent Match Officials education course in Ghana.

“Talk about heightened expectation and anticipation, and you could be referring to the 1st ITTF/ATTF National Referee Course held in Accra.
The first of its kind in West Africa in over 2 decades, the course did not disappoint. The results were not only self-evident, they were remarkably transformative. Under the expert tutelage of Genevieve Lentz, the course conductor, Ghana deepened its bench of qualified National Referees. Similarly, the West Africa Region now has twice as many national referees as before. That can only be great for the expected exponential growth of Table Tennis in the region. The anticipation continues for more of such programmes in the West Africa Region.” – Mawuko Afadzinu, President Ghana Table Tennis Association

Regional Initiative West Africa – ITTF Level 2 National Referee Course (GHA)

With the Mentorship, “My Gender. My Strength.”, and the Regional Initiatives, we are focusing on growing the numbers and increasing the technical abilities of individuals involved in table tennis. Selection for the Mentorship and “My Gender. My Strength.” Projects are underway, with high numbers of applications received underlining the popularity of the schemes. The Equipment Assistance, delivered in cooperation with TIBHAR, rounds up our offering under our Projects and is running continuously, still recovering from global supply-chain issues.

“The Development Programs and Projects are based on an assessment of each Member Association’s needs and realities, providing support in those areas that are most valuable in terms of progress and development. Not only do they foster an environment for sustainable growth, but they also encourage close cooperation between ITTF, its members and affiliates, building a coherent table tennis community worldwide while raising the level of our sport globally.” – Dr Alaa Meshref, Executive Board Member

In the second half of the year, we are looking forward to seeing all our Programs and Projects rolled out and underway and are especially excited to see the Quick Pathway Program take its shape after the pilot project with South Africa peaked with the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships in Durban.

South American Hopes Week & Challenge (PAR)

For a full report on HPD activities within the continents, please see the Mid-Year Progress Report.


General News High Performance and Development