4-Day Countdown to Change in the ITTF's Presidency

By Sheri Cioroslan | Aug. 28, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

Day 4, August 28 - LATTU’s President Oswaldo “Papelόn” Borges Thanks President Sharara

“In the case of LATTU, the arrival of Adham Sharara as the ITTF President was a blessing.” 

Oswaldo “Papelόn” BorgesIn Venezuela, you were a volleyball great and even named the "Volleyball Player of the 20th Century.”  How did your foray into table tennis start? 

I was a TT player when I was 15. I, however, decided to venture into the sport of Volleyball and played on the National Team for 15 years.  

After a long time the Venezuela Table Tennis Federation had a vacancy in the position of President.  As the sport of TT was without a leader, Professor Francisco "Pancho" Seijas asked me to help them. I decided to join them in this venture. Since 1989 until today, I have been the President of the Federación Venezolana de Tenis de Mesa (Venezuela Table Tennis Federation). 

What are your ideas to help table tennis achieve the goal to be in the TOP 5 IN ALL WE DO? 

I believe that the ITTF should take these steps to help our sport achieve the Top-5 goal: 

1) Keep permanent contacts with their Continents.

2) Maintain the development program growth for all their affiliated countries through the continental unions.

3) Offer in-depth seminars in the areas of:

a) Coaching at all levels;

b) Umpiring / Refereeing;

c) Marketing; and

d) Leadership development and national association management through workshops, symposiums and other related activities. These kinds of “best practices” support for association management are still being developed.

4) Seek to increase the programs oriented to kids both in the development and high performance areas. For that to happen, it's necessary for the famous players and upcoming stars to be more visible to the children.  This will generate encouragement, stimulate their interest, and further support the efforts of coaches, technicians and managers. 

5) Establish a scholarship program at different levels for coaches, enabling them to increase their knowledge. These scholarships can be short, medium and long term.

6) Continue the work at the continental union level to incorporate more national associations into the ITTF’s membership.

7) Encourage affiliated national associations to try to apply the Top-5 goal at the national level, echoing the ITTF’s “Top 5 in all we do” goal.  This will help to raise the level in every aspect related to Table Tennis worldwide. 

What accomplishment of Adham Sharara is the most significant in your opinion? 

It doesn’t seem logical for me to point out specifically just one of Adham’s achievements. Since he was elected ITTF President, he began introducing many changes in the ITTF that I believe became a positive revolution for Table Tennis worldwide. 

I can highlight the importance that Adham emphasized to make direct contact with the continents and the respective countries affiliated with the continental unions. 

In the case of the Latin American Table Tennis Union (LATTU), the arrival of Adham Sharara as the ITTF President was a blessing due to the excellent support he gave to our continent. This assistance enabled the growth of table tennis in all areas, both in the technical development, as well as in regards to coaches and officials. The breadth of courses offered, the signing of the continental affiliation agreement and many other things have generated a continuous development and growth in our countries that we didn't have before.

Latin America regrets, but understands, Adham’s stepping back as President.  We would like to say: “Thank you, Adham.  We wish you good luck and happiness.”