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

By Sheri Cioroslan | July 08, 2014, 5 p.m. (ET)

Day 55, July 8 - The ITTF’s Record of Awards and Humanitarian Projects, Part I 

“The more humanitarian work we do the better, awards or no awards.” 

Today and tomorrow the Countdown will feature the scope of the ITTF’s humanitarian projects as well as the recognition, honors and awards the ITTF has received for them.  I have asked ITTF President Adham Sharara to introduce this topic. 

Back on Countdown Day 71, reminiscing about Ping Pong Diplomacy, you summarized your feelings toward our sport, peace, and following your heart by saying, 

“What I learnt from Ping-Pong Diplomacy is:

-          Sport is an instrument for Peace.

-          Table Tennis changed the world.

-          Listen to your heart and you can’t go wrong.

-          Table Tennis is THE sport for peace.”

Perhaps those reflections best explain the humanitarian direction the ITTF has gone in during your presidency.  Various forms of recognition have accompanied those efforts.  Can you address the ITTF’s intentions in this area? 

The ITTF has won many awards related to our development work. We have also been short-listed, or finalists, for many sports recognition awards. This is mainly due to the hard work and innovations by our Development Program, and due to a group of dedicated staff.  They are not only spreading our sport across the world, but also implementing humanitarian projects in war-torn areas or poverty-stricken areas all over the world. 

To receive an award is gratifying, but that is not our goal. Our goal is to use our sport as an instrument of peace as well as a vehicle to provide the less fortunate with hope, fun, and a moment of positive accomplishment. The more humanitarian work we do the better, awards or no awards, it does not matter. 

The awards received are a reflection of the tireless work of our senior development staff, Glenn Tepper and Leandro Olvech, as well as their large team of experts who are not afraid to go to any part of the world to teach our sport and to instill positive social values.

Glenn Tepper 

Leandro Olvech next discusses the positive impacts of receiving recognition, including the increased possibility of obtaining funding to do even more.

Messaging is an important new aspect of the ITTF’s new P5 strategy.  Can you discuss how winning awards promotes and impacts the ability to expand the ITTF’s development program? 

The ITTF has been honoured multiple times during the recent years. The recognitions provide a huge motivation to continue our expansion and to give more exposure to ITTF endeavors. One aim is to attract more sponsors for this expansion but also to deliver a message to our table tennis community on how sport is more than medals and can be used as a unique and effective tool for positive social change. I think our formula is quite simple, we believe in what we do with passion and create a teamwork environment with our partners.

Below is an ITTF-produced summary of awards and honors the ITTF has received for its humanitarian programs and projects, and other accolades.

ITTF Awards

The last decade has shown tremendous success for the ITTF. It can be objectively demonstrated by the quantity and quality of awards received from the international sport community.  As far as we are aware, the ITTF was the most awarded International Sport Federation during the last Olympic Cycle.

 

Recognitions to ITTF

Year

Organization

Award

Project

Result

2004

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Ishraq

Winner-Viewers Choice

2005

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Afghanistan Project

Short Listed

2009

Peace & Sport

Best International Federation Development Program

Development program

Winner

2010

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Table Tennis for Peace in Colombia

Short Listed

2011

Beyond Sport

Federation of the Year

Development Program

Short Listed

2011

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Table Tennis for Peace in East Timor

Short Listed

2012

SportAccord

Spirit of Sport

Women´s Development Program

Winner

2012

SportAccord

Spirit of Sport

Para Table Tennis Development Program

Short Listed

2012

SportAccord

Spirit of Sport

Table Tennis for Peace in Burundi-Congo DR

Short Listed

2012

SportAccord

Spirit of Sport

Nittaku Dream Building in El Salvador

Short Listed

2012

SportBusiness

Making the Difference

Table Tennis for Peace in Burundi-Congo DR

Winner

2012

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Peace and Sport Cup

Honorable Mention

2012

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Nittaku Dream Building in El Salvador

Short Listed

2012

FICTS Festival

Sport & Society Film

Table Tennis for Peace in Burundi-Congo DR

Short Listed

2012

FICTS Festival

Social Advertising Film

Dream Building

Short Listed

2013

SportAccord

Spirit of Sport

Table Tennis for Peace in Burundi-Congo DR

Winner

2013

Beyond Sport

Federation of the Year

Development Program

Short Listed


Films
about most of the mentioned projects are available on the ITTF Youtube channel, Development & Education playlist here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB78036B55F8DB867

 

IOC Funding

Following a review by the IOC and ASOIF, the ITTF was moved to funding Category C (from D previously) on the basis of an objective assessment, taking into account fairness, robustness, thoroughness and consistency. 

Major Achievements in the Field of Development since 1999 

  • Started the ITTF Development Program in 1999
  • Increased the development budget from US$ 30,000 to US$ 1.5 million
  • Increased the member associations from 180 in 1998 to 220 (IF #1 in terms of membership, together with FIVB)
  • The Development Program already has held more than 1,400 courses worldwide with more than 35,000 people.
  • More than 500 equipment packages have been delivered to associations in need.
  • With support from AUSAID and Table Tennis Australia, the first development officer for Para Table Tennis were appointed in Oceania.
  • Started the ITTF Social Responsibility Program that already ran projects in countries such as: Afghanistan, Egypt, Jamaica, Kenya, Uganda, Congo DR, Burundi, Peru, El Salvador, Solomon Islands, Iraq, Jordan, Ethiopia, Colombia, East Timor, Ukraine, Kosovo, Cuba, Haiti, Yemen and others.
  • Targeted groups included UN Refugee Camps, Orphanages, Displaced, People with a Disability, Child Soldiers, Slums, Women, Schools, etc.
  • Quick reaction after natural disasters was organized with financial and in-kind donations and visits by experts in Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti after hurricane devastation, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Indonesia after the Tsunami and Haiti after the recent earthquake.
  • Initiated “Ping Pong Diplomacy 2.0” via the Qatar Peace Cup in 2011, which brought “in conflict” nations together as doubles combinations, including North and South Korea, India and Pakistan and others. 

AWARDS EXPLANATION

Peace and Sport

Peace and Sport, "L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” is a neutral and apolitical international initiative based in the Principality of Monaco and under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.

An international forum is organized yearly which includes the Peace and Sport Awards Ceremony. 

SportAccord

Umbrella organization of Olympic and non-Olympic International Sport Federations. At their annual convention they deliver the Spirit of Sport Awards 

FICTS

Italian organization which promotes Sports in TV and Films. Regional contests are organized with a World Finals annually. 

Beyond Sport

British NGO which links Sport and Social organizations with private companies.  Hosts an International Forum which includes awards ceremony.

 

Tomorrow’s Countdown Day 54 will look more in-depth at the ITTF’s commitment to humanitarian projects.