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Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All ITTF Development Programme Experts

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All ITTF Development Programme Experts

At the turn of the century when the word “Millennium” was one of the most popular in the English dictionary; the number of national associations affiliated to the International Table Tennis Federation was 180 members.

Less than a decade later in 2009 the number set to rise to 206. Quite simply the figures endorse the fact that table tennis is a sport for all, it is the one sport everybody has played and everybody can play.

Furthermore, in the past ten years the ITTF Development Programme has grown immensely; from small acorns we now have a splendid oak, encompassing the growth of our sport.

No Coincidence

The growth in numbers has not just happened without effort; the growth is inexorably linked to the efforts of the ever growing ITTF Development Programme so competently and enthusiastically directed by Glenn Tepper, the ITTF Director of Development Programmes and, in more recent times, with the support and fervour of Leandro Olvech, the ITTF Co-ordinator of Development Programmes.

Almost 400 courses were held between 2005 and 2008; the norm being 100 per year and judging by the current week that number is set to grow.

Eleven Courses

“No fewer than 11 ITTF Development Programme courses are underway in this week alone, covering all six continents!” enthused a delighted Glenn Tepper who can reflect with great pride on his efforts.

“With more than 100 course annually becoming the norm, combined with equipment packages for more than 40 countries, there is no longer any down time””, he continued. “At least the schedule must be calming down as we move towards the end of the year? Not so; 10 courses in December!”


Now for many parts of the world December is the month of Christmas and many sports tend to have a lull in proceedings, so surely the activities of the ITTF Development Programme will go into hibernation.

It is a time of “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men”. Well there is peace and there is good will but no time to sit eating mince pies and drinking mold wine.

Djibouti and Jordan

“Djibouti will host a course from 23rd to 29th December while Jordan has just rescheduled their course for 24th to 30th December owing to elections”, continued Glenn Tepper; the parts of the world where Christmas is not the major celebration of the year place a high priority on promoting sport.

It’s life as normal if such a concept exists but surely the current week is anything but normal.


“This week we have three longer term Developing a National Sports Structure Olympic Solidarity courses in the Federated States of Micronesia, Trinidad and Senegal, complemented by Olympic Solidarity Technical Courses in the Solomon Islands, Cyprus, Bahrain and Maldives, while Development Programme courses are operating in the Czech Republic, New Zealand, USA and Guatemala”, explained Glenn Tepper. “Meanwhile, three other courses in Brunei, Samoa, and Congo Democratic Republic were completed only days ago.”

Wide Range of Courses

A busy time for the ITTF Development Programme and there is a wide range of courses during this hectic week.

Leandro Olvech is leading an ITTF/PTT Level One, course and also training ITTF/PTT Level One Course Conductors in Cyprus

Philippe Molodzoff is at the helm of the first ITTF Level Two course to be held; it is being staged in Bahrain and includes participants from Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, taking advantage of this much anticipated course

Jarek Kolodziejczyk is the man in charge of possibly the last of the successful Eurokids Training Camps; he is in the Czech Republic, prior to the European Table Tennis Union adopting a new model looking to in 2012, 2016, 2020.

In North America there is a joint Cadet Training Camp in the USA led by Canada’s Chen Jun Ya and George Damianov plus and Keith Evans of the United States.

Sylvain Chermette is in Senegal, Steve Reilly is in the Federated States of Micronesia and Ramon Ortega Montes is in Trinidad and Tobago. They are conducting “Developing a National Sports Structure Courses” aiming to leave the maximum legacy by addressing a broad range of areas including coach education, schools programmes, umpiring, refereeing, tournament organisation, development plans and more.

ITTF/PTT Level One Courses are being staged in the Maldives where Polona Susin is the expert, whilst in New Zealand Alejandra Gabaglio is the person offering words of wisdom and in Guatemala Evelio Alvarez is promoting the cause of table tennis.

Dave Delpratt is in the Solomon Islands where umpire education, coach education and schools visits are on the agenda.

Exciting Future

Take a breath, sit down and have a mince pie!

Not the intrepid Mr Tepper.

“With new continental agreements being negotiated for the 2009-2012 period; a Development Magazine covering the 2005-2008 period being produced; the ITTF Development Plan 2009-2012 to be re-written; interesting projects with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Peace and Sport and Generations for Peace; the ITTF Advanced Coaching Manual translations, printing, course conductor training being finalised in three languages, it is certainly a busy but exciting time.


Absolutely, now here’s the challenge; we need a good slogan.

At the moment we anticipate 206 member nations in the table tennis family of the International Table Tennis Federation in 2009; now 206 in 209 is not the best slogan but here’s the slogan and here’s the challenge. Can we do it?

How about 210 by 2010?


Article type



Ian Marshall


Monday, November 24, 2008 - 23:00

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