79-Day Countdown to Change in the ITTF's Presidency
Day 79, June 14 - Origination of the 100-Day Countdown
A couple of days ago, I received the following Facebook message from Larry Hodges, USATT Hall of Famer and blogger: “Hi Sheri, How come the ITTF version of the ‘Countdown’ articles are listed ‘By Ian Marshall,’ while they are listed by you on the USATT home page?”
When I called Larry to explain, he said that some people are even accusing me of plagiarizing from the ITTF site! So today, having already crossed over the 1/5 point in the series, it is a good time to explain the origination of the 100-Day Countdown and to clear up the question asked above.
Obviously, the main purpose of the “Countdown” is to honor ITTF President Adham Sharara for the excellent job he has done at the helm of our sport. While he deserves a lot of credit, he is also an unassuming person, so such an initiative would not likely come from within the ITTF itself.
One of his main successes has been to create a wonderful team consisting of the staff, the Executive Committee, Continental Presidents, Committee and Commission Chairs, and others. It seemed like a good idea to profile the supporting cast of characters, to review the accomplishments of the last fifteen years, and also to provide some interesting historical background articles.
As a Special Advisor to the Media Committee, I understood that contributing articles was a desirable objective. And, although I was not present at the previous few World Championships, in Tokyo I had the opportunity to visit with a lot of members of the table tennis family. From 1999-2007, I was the president of USATT, so I was also contemplating ways to help USATT with website popularity.
After the Tokyo WTTC’s, the idea came into my mind to do a 100-day Countdown. I quickly wrote down 65 ideas, so I concluded that this could be done very easily. The idea also dovetailed nicely with the ITTF’s new 5P Plan, which adds PROMOTION as an emphasis. Why not promote the accomplishments of our president during this 100-day transition?
Logistically, I copy both USATT and ITTF with the articles. USATT posts the articles as is. And Ian Marshall provides prefatory flourishes on the ITTF site. I hope for the skeptical, this explains why Ian Marshall’s name heads up the articles on the ITTF website, whereas the articles are listed by me on USATT’s website.
Tomorrow the profiles will resume and there will be a special Father’s Day recognition.