ETTU President’s end of year message
This is the moment of the year when everyone looks back on the year that is coming to its end and looks forward to the year to come. This is not different for your President. The year 2014 has been the first full calendar year that the Executive Board, el
This is the moment of the year when everyone looks back on the year that is coming to its end and looks forward to the year to come. This is not different for your President.
The year 2014 has been the first full calendar year that the Executive Board, elected in Schwechat (AUT) in October 2013, has been in office. In this year I think we have managed to become a well organised and very active team. With the assistance of our Secretary General and his Deputy and all others who work closely with us, we have succeeded in bringing back a great deal of the very much needed stability in ETTU’s organisation.
However this does not mean that we can rest on our laurels, on the contrary, there is still much work to be done to bring ETTU closer to the goals we formulated when we were elected. These will take some further years to be achieved.
We can be very proud on all our events organised in 2014, from the Youth Top-10 in Tours (FRA) to our Club Competitions and from our Youth Championships in Riva del Garda (ITA) to the European Championships in Lisbon (POR) and the success of our youth at the World Cadet Challenge in Bridgetown (BAR). Also our Congresses, with a new format, appeared to be successful and promising for future decision-making. Due to difficult preparatory circumstances, only the experimental Team Veterans Championships did not meet our expectations.
Travelling throughout Europe – and elsewhere – in 2014, I have met so many enthusiastic people contributing to our sport, that it has strengthened my opinion that we are very well prepared for the future. I have met many people who want to contribute by organising our events, but also to the development of table tennis at all levels. Although many people are contributing, the appointment and subsequent work of Neven CEGNAR as our Development Manager cannot stay unmentioned here. With very limited resources we have seen much progress in this field.
My year 2014 is however ending with mixed feelings! Let me explain. We experienced an emotional and unexpected ending of the men’s final during our European Championships, so warmly organised in a very short period of time by our Portuguese friends, guided by Pedro MOURA. And recently the Portuguese men’s table tennis team was elected ‘sports team of the year’ and Pedro RUFINO as ‘coach of the year’ in Portugal. This is very good promotion for table tennis in Portugal, deserving our congratulations. Some weeks later Europe’s five men players lost with a small difference from the Asian men during the Euro-Asia All Star Challenge in China (4-6). And finally I witnessed the prize ceremonies at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Shanghai…. Not one European flag could be raised. So, on one hand we are enjoying great table tennis in Europe, while on the other hand the gap between Europe and Asia in the future does not seem to be closing, rather on the contrary.
In 2015 and further years to come, we will have to work on new insights and methods of recognising, developing and supporting our European talents. The selection in 2014 of eleven ‘Eurotalents’ provides a promising start. We must strengthen our quality criteria for training and coaching, for management and ultimately for selecting and supporting our players. And we will need to further the cooperation with our Asian friends. In my meetings with many of them, I have discovered their serious willingness to do so.
Having said this, I would like to sincerely thank everybody involved in European table tennis for their hard work in 2014 and hope for 2015 that we will see further progress in the quality of our events and in the development of our players and coaches.
I wish ETTU and all visitors of our website an enjoyable end of 2014 and a happy start of 2015!