37th Flanders International Tournament in Ostend
Referring to the decision taken on 23rd July 1956 in Tokyo to hold WC (World Table Tennis Championships) biennually after the WC in Stockholm in 1957, theITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) invited the European Table Tennis Associations to consider the possibility of holding EC (European Table Tennis Championships) in the intervening alternate (even) years.
First exploratory discussions took place on 17th February 1957 between representatives of European Associations participating in the French Open Championships in Rouen, where those present agreed to submit to a further meeting in Stockholm suggestions for holding EC.
A preliminary Meeting was held on 9th March 1957, during the WC in Stockholm when main proposals were discussed, thus that at a further meeting on 13th March 1957 the European Table Tennis Union could be set up by the following Associations:
German Democratic Republic (GDR)
Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)
Soviet Union (USSR)
A board of seven persons was elected to organise the 1st EC, which the Hungarian Association offered and undertook to hold in Budapest in 1958.
Mr. Jean BELOT (FRA) was elected ETTU’s first Chairman, and in accordance with the principle of having its Secretary a representative of the EC host Association, Dr. György LAKATOS (HUN) became its first Honorary Secretary. Other committee members wereMrs. Nancy EVANS (WAL), Mr. Ake ELDH (SWE), Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG), Mr. Zlatko VAJLER (YUG) and Mr. Josef VANDUREK (CSSR).
A Charter of the Union was formally adopted by the Associations at a Meeting in Dortmund in March 1959.
Regrettably, Mr. BELOT died in 1959, and at the 2nd EC held in Zagreb (YUG) in April 1960, Mr. Josef VANDUREK (CSSR) was elected President and Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG) became Vice-President. At this meeting, the ETTU also elected Mrs. Nancy EVANS (WAL) as its first ‘permanent’ Honorary Secretary/Treasurer, after Mr. VAJLER (YUG) had been the acting Secretary during the organisation of the EC 1960 in his home country.
As the result of a proposal adopted at the 1960 Meeting, a knock-out competition for European Club Teams was introduced, with teams from Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, German Democratic Republic and Federal Republic of Germany taking part in the first European club competition in early 1961.
The 3rd EC took place in West Berlin (FRG) in April 1962, where theETTU Constitution was adopted and where the Regulations for the Europe Club Cup, successful as an experiment in the previous year, were definitively broadened.
At an informal Meeting of the Members Associations during the WC in Prague in April 1963, a women section was introduced for the Europe Club Cup competition.
In November 1964, the 4th EC was held at Malmo (SWE). Mr. Josef VANDUREK (CSSR) had retired from the Presidency in 1963 and Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG) was elected in his place, Mr. Vaclav VEBR (CSSR) becoming the new Vice-President. At the 1964 Congress, the ETTU formally assumed the responsibility for the European Youth Meetings, hitherto organised annually and independently by a National Association and fostered by the Youth Commission of the ITTF. This competition was renamed in 1970 as the ‘European Youth Championships’. Also at the 1964 Congress, the first proposals were put forward for a European League.
The Europäischer Tischtennis-Messe-Cup (The European Table Tennis Fairs-Cities-Cup) contest came under the control of the Union in 1965.
In April 1966, the 5th EC were organised in London (ENG), where all the thirty European Associations in membership were present. Certain changes were made to the Constitution, and further steps taken forward for the setting up of the proposed European League.
The European League started in the season 1967-68.
In 1968, Lyon (FRA) was the venue for the 6th EC, while the 7th EC took place in Moscow (USSR) in 1970.
A new Classification Tournament (subsequently called the Europe Top-12) took place for the first time in Zadar (YUG) in 1971 as an experiment and was held every year since at different venues. In this competition, the top twelve ranked men and women in Europe first played in an ‘everybody plays against everybody’ system.
At the 8th EC in Rotterdam (NED) in 1972 an amended Constitution was adopted with an Executive Committee with four Officers and a Management Committee with seven members. The elected members of the Executive Committee were: President: Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG), Vice-President: Mr. Josef NEKVASIL (CSSR), Honorary General Secretary: Mrs. Nancy EVANS (WAL) and Honorary Treasurer: Mr. Henk VAN DILST (NED). The seven members of the Management Committee became the Chairmen of seven Committees.
The 9th EC took place in Novi Sad (YUG) in 1974, the 10th EC was held in Prague (CSSR) in 1976 and the 11th EC in Duisburg (FRG) in 1978.
In autumn of 1979, regrettably, the Vice-President Mr. Josef NEKVASIL (CSSR) died. At the 12th EC, held in Bern (SUI) in 1980, all thirty-three affiliated Associations were represented at the BGM. Dr. György LAKATOS (HUN) was elected as the new Vice-President.
In 1977, the ETTU set up a Training Course for one coach and two players from each of the weaker Associations in Boson (SWE); this course was repeated in Falkenberg (SWE) in 1979 and in Heidelberg (FRG) in 1982. Parallel with this scheme, the ETTU also introduced more advanced courses for trainers and coaches in Bratislava (CSSR) in 1977, subsequently followed by courses of a similar nature in Paris (FRA) and in Heidelberg (FRG).
At the 13th EC in Budapest (HUN) in 1982, Dr. György LAKATOS (HUN) was elected President in succession to Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG) who was not candidate for re-election. Mr. Lollo HAMMARLUND (SWE) was elected as new Vice-President.
On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, ETTU organised a reception in Budapest during which distinctions in gold were presented to Mrs. Nancy EVANS (ENG), Dr. György LAKATOS (HUN), Mr. Josef NEKVASIL (CSSR) (posthumously) and, some months later, also to Mr. Jupp SCHLAF (FRG).
At the BGM in conjunction with the 14th EC in Moscow (USSR), in 1984, Mrs. Nancy EVANS (ENG) retired as Honorary General Secretary, having served the ETTU in that capacity from the very outset. In recognition of such outstanding service she was appointed the first ETTU Honorary Life Member. The name of the Fairs Cities Cup was changed to ETTU-Nancy-Evans Cup. Mr. George YATES (ENG) was elected as the new Honorary General Secretary.
In January 1985 a new event took place, for the first time, in San Marino, called Europe Juniors Top 12. January 1986 saw the start of the Euro/Asia Tournament played in Rome (ITA), Valkenswaard (NED) and Paris (FRA).
At the 15th EC in Prague (CSSR) in 1986, a new President was elected with Mr. Mihovil KAPETANIC (YUG). The former President, Dr. György LAKATOS (HUN), was appointed the second ETTU Honorary Life Member. In 1986, the membership stood at 35 Associations, San Marino and the Isle of Man having become new members.
33 Associations (out of 35) – a record – were represented at the 16th EC in Paris (FRA) in 1988. A new Vice-President was elected with Mrs. Ella CONSTANTINESCU (ROM).Mr. Roy EVANS (ENG) - the former ITTF President – was appointed the third ETTUHonorary Life Member. A joint FRG/NED proposition to amend the Constitution so as to allow Associations having no common frontier with Europe to join the ETTU was defeated.
In 1990, the Europe Top-12 Tournament was, for the first time, played in two groups, and later that year the Congress formally adopted this arrangement. At the same Congress it was decided also to change the playing system for the European League, dividing each group of 8 teams in two groups of 4.
The Congress held in conjunction with the 17th EC in Gothenburg (SWE) in April 1990 was a very important one. First of all, Israel was accepted as a new ETTU Member; furthermore, a large majority accepted a new eligibility clause and a separate Women’s League was introduced on an experimental basis. Finally, Mr. Leonid MAKAROV (USSR) was appointed the fourth Honorary Life Member.
In 1991, two new European title events, the European Nations Cup and the European Masters Cup, were held for the first time on the initiative of the German Association.
At the Informal General Meeting held in Chiba (JPN) in 1991 it was decided to hold separate competitions for men’s and women’s teams in the Super and 1st Divisions of the European League. The 1991 Informal General Meeting also accepted one new member, Cyprus, but as the DTTV, the Association of the former German Democratic Republic, had merged with the DTTB, the number of member Associations remained at 37.
At the 1992 Congress, hold during the 18th EC in Stuttgart (GER), it was decided to accept into membership six new Associations: Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, thus bringing the total membership of the ETTU to 43 Associations.
There was a record attendance of 37 Associations at the 1992 Congress which adopted a number of important changes to the ETTU management organisation, as particularly the decision to establish a professional secretariat. Changes were made also to the structure of the European League in order to enable the new Associations to participate, and the ETTU eligibility regulations were brought into line with those of the ITTF.
Mr. Mihovil KAPETANIC (YUG) decided not to continue as President and Mr. Hans Wilhelm GÄB (GER) was elected, by acclamation, as the new ETTU President. Three new Vice-Presidents were elected: Mr. Nils BERGSTRÖM (SWE), Mr. Christos CHRISTODOULATOS (GRE) and Mr. Alan RANSOME (ENG), Mr. Henk VAN DILST (NED) being returned unopposed as Honorary Treasurer.
The 1992 Congress also unanimously elected 3 new Honorary Life Members: Mr. Mihovil KAPETANIC (YUG), Mrs. Ella ZELLER-CONSTANTINESCU (ROM) and Mr. George YATES (ENG).
The 1993 Informal General Meeting confirmed the affiliation of new Associations from the territory of the former USSR (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine), from the dissolved Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and from the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia), thus bringing the total of the ETTU member Associations up to 50.
In July 1993 Mr. Hans Wilhelm GÄB (GER) resigned from the ETTU Presidency for private and personal reasons and the Executive Committee appointed Mr. Nils BERGSTRÖM (SWE) as Acting President.
In 1994, the 19th EC took place in Birmingham (ENG). At the relating Congress, attended by a record total of 48 Associations, Mr. BERGSTRÖM (SWE) was elected President by acclamation, Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA), Mr. Jean DEVYS (FRA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were newly elected as Vice-Presidents and Mr. Henk VAN DILST (NED) was re-elected unopposed as Treasurer.
At that Congress, various measures were agreed to take account of the record level of participation in all ETTU events, including completing the reconstruction of the European League and creating a 3rd category in the EC team events. It was reported that another prestigious competition initiated by the German Association, the European Ladies Team Cup, had been held for the first time. It was also agreed to organise biennual European Veterans’ Championships as an official ETTU event, starting in 1995.
At the 1995 Informal General meeting, the affiliation of the national Federations from Azerbaijan and Gibraltar brought the total membership of the ETTU to 52 Associations. This Meetingdiscussed as well the Executive Committee’s proposals for re-structuring theETTU, but a decision was deferred to the Congress 1996.
The 20th EC took place in 1996 in Bratislava (SVK). At the Congress, it was agreed to increase the size of both the Executive Committee and the Management Committee, in order to correctly reflect the growth in membership, and to establish a new position of a Deputy President. Arrangements for dealing with juridical matters, including the creation of a Board of Appeal, were incorporated in the Constitution and significant changes were agreed to the Regulations for European Club Competitions. Greenland became the 53rdETTU member.
The Congress honoured the memory of two outstanding European table tennis personalities: Mr. Lollo HAMMARLUND (SWE), who served as President of the ITTF in 1994-95, and Mr. Henk VAN DILST (NED), who was for many years the Treasurer of the ETTU. Both were posthumously appointed ETTU Honorary Members.
In the elections, Mr. Nils BERGSTRÖM (SWE) and Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) were returned unopposed as President and Deputy-President, Mr. Pierre ALBERTINI (FRA),Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS), Mr. Alan RANSOME (ENG) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were elected as Vice-Presidents. Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) was elected as the new ETTU Treasurer.
After the 1997 General Meeting held during the World Championships in Manchester (ENG), the ETTU President, Mr. Nils BERGSTRÖM (SWE) had to resign as ETTUPresident because of his election as ITTF Executive Vice-President. The ETTU Deputy-President Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) was appointed as Acting President. The Association of Moldova became the 54th ETTU member.
At the 1998 Congress, hold during the 21st EC in Eindhoven (NED), Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were elected unopposed as President and Deputy-President, Mr. Pierre ALBERTINI (FRA), Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS), Mr. Alan RANSOME (ENG) and Mr. Rudolf SPORRER (AUT) returned unopposed as Vice-Presidents and Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) returned unopposed as Treasurer.
During this Congress it was also decided to start, besides the already existing ETTUcompetitions, with an European Champions League for club teams. The 1998 Congress also unanimously elected Mr. Nils BERGSTRÖM (SWE) as Honorary President.
The 1999 World Championships were supposed to be held in Belgrade (YUG). Because of the difficult political situation in Yugoslavia, ITTF had however to split the World Championships in team and individual events. The ETTU Informal General Meeting was held in August, during the WC individual events in Eindhoven (NED). The Association of Andorra was newly admitted to ETTU, whilst the membership of Greenland was ‘transferred’ to North-America, thus leaving the total ETTU membership at 54.
In 1999, ETTU entered into a first TV-cooperation-contract with ITTF/TMS. The newly created European Champions League was covered live by Eurosport, one match of each round being transmitted live to more than 40 European countries.
The ’1999′ team World Championships were played beginning of 2000 in Kuala Lumpur (MAS), ending with a not expected Gold Medal for the Swedish Men’s team.
The ETTU Congress 2000, hold during the 22nd EC in Bremen (GER), took rather important decisions for the future of the table tennis sport in Europe. It was decided to combine the European League with the European Championships. Starting with the season 2000/2001, the European League was played over a period of two years and the final ranking of this competition was used as the seeding list for the next EC. A further decision was to organise the future EC in the odd years, starting from 2003, becauseITTF had decided to split the World Championships into individual events (to be played in odd years) and team events (to be played in even years).
Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were re-elected unopposed as President and Deputy-President, Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS), Mr. Alan RANSOME (ENG) and Mr. Rudi SPORRER (AUT) returned unopposed as Vice-Presidents. Mr. Pierre ALBERTINI (FRA), who decided to no more run for the position of ETTU Vice-President, was substituted by Mrs. Claude BERGERET (FRA). Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) returned unopposed as Treasurer.
In July 2000, during the EYC in Bratislava (SVK), the Executive Committee nominatedMrs. Zita PIDL (HUN) as the first ‘ETTU Development Manager’, to start her work as from the 1st September 2000.
As from 2001, the Congress was to be held annually. Thus, the 2001 Congress took place on 28th April in Osaka (JPN), during the World Championships. The Congress confirmed to have the new ’11-points’-rule applied as from the 1st August 2001, for all competitions organised under ETTU’s authority .
At the Congress 2002, held on 3rd April, during the 23rd EC in Zagreb (HRV), Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were re-elected unopposed as President and Deputy-President, Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS), Mrs. Claude BERGERET (FRA) and Mr. Rudi SPORRER (AUT) returned as Vice-Presidents. Mr. Ivo-Goran MUNIVRANA (HRV) was newly elected as Vice-President and Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) returned unopposed as Treasurer. Exceptionnally – because of changing the EC year from even to odd - the Executive Committee members got a mandate for 3 years. The national TT Association of MONACO was admitted as the 55thETTU Member.
The Congress 2002 was followed by an Extraordinary Congress, who unanimously adopted the new ETTU Constitution, which is based on the pertinent Luxembourg law for non-profit making organisations and which since its entry into force (on 1st September 2003) confers to ETTU the legal status of a ‘non-profit making Association’.
In 2003, the Congress took place on 28th March, during the 24th EC, in Courmayeur (ITA). The most relevant decision of this Congress was to abolish the ‘European League’ and to replace it by a ‘European Championships Qualification’ competition, to be run over the period of two years preceding an EC.
On 2nd March 2004, the annual Congress was held in Doha (QAT), at the occasion of the World Team Championships.
The Congress 2005, held on 27th March, during the 25th EC in Aarhus (DEN) decided to extend the European Champions League for Men from 8 to 16 teams and to introduce a European Champions League competition for Women teams as well, starting from the season 2005/2006. The Congress furthermore confirmed the admittance of the national TT Association of MONTENEGRO as the 56th ETTU Member.
At the bi-annual elections, Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were re-elected unopposed as President and Deputy-President, while Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) returned unopposed as Vice-President for Finances. Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS), Mr. Ivo-Goran MUNIVRANA (HRV) and Mr. Rudi SPORRER (AUT) returned as Vice-Presidents. Mrs. Claude BERGERET (FRA), who didn’t run aymore for a position of ETTU Vice-President, was substituted by Mr. Jean-Francois KAHN (FRA).
At the Congress 2007, held in Belgrade on 27th of March, during the 26th Liebherr European Championships, Mr. Stefano BOSI (ITA) and Mr. Eberhard SCHÖLER (GER) were re-elected unopposed as President and Deputy-President, while Mr. Camille GONDERINGER (LUX) returned unopposed as Vice-President for Finances. Mr. Yuri POSEVIN (RUS) and Mr. Jean-Francois KAHN (FRA) returned as Vice-Presidents. Mrs Petra SORLING (SWE) and Mr. Aleksandar MATKOVIC (SRB) were newly elected as Vice Presidents.