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European Veterans Championships - 2 Jul 2015

KRAMER: We have Festival of table tennis in Tampere

Harry SYVASALMI Director of Sports in Finish Government Harry SYVASALMI Director of Sports in Finish Government

ETTU President shared his joy of being part of the amazing event and meeting with the old friends
Ronald KRAMER and Jukka NIEMINEN, FTTF Board Member Photo: Ronald KRAMER and Jukka NIEMINEN, FTTF Board Member


If you ask most of the participants at the European Veterans Championships in Tampere, they will tell you the same thing; this event is not only about the competition and result- it is more about friendship and comradery. Even ETTU President Ronald KRAMER learned that this could be the sentimental journey. 

“My first objective, and reason for my visit to Tampere at the very beginning, was to witness for the first time, what the Veterans Championships are. I never have seen it before, so I was invited to come to see the penultimate and final stages of the Events, on Friday and to be part of the medal ceremony on Saturday,” said KRAMER. 

However, plans changed. The official reception of the City of Tampere on Wednesday did it ,to be more precise. The highest Finnish Governmental representatives were at the meeting. 

“From the time I was working for Ministry and Olympic Committee I have made a very good friends in Finland. They found them and invited them to the reception. One of them is now retired Raija MATTILA, former colleague of Harri SYVASALMI, Director of Sports in Finish Government. It was the reason for me to come earlier. I was so glad they came and that I had a chance to meet them.”

It gave President KRAMER two extra days to enjoy the battles in Expo Center in Tampere.

“Now, I am very happy that I got this chance. I have never seen before so many people playing table tennis under one roof at the same time. There are 90 tables here in the main hall and more 40 in the training hall, and everybody is playing whole day! It is amazing picture. Whether you are the top player, or not, whether you feel the pain in your leg or arm…everybody keeps on playing, enjoys the opportunity to meet old friends. Even we have nice weather this week. I got a lot of energy myself of looking those players. “

Organizers did a great job to make everyone feel confortable. 

“It was not an easy task. Having 1.830 people playing in one hall. I love what I see! I saw the picture of an empty hall and even then it looked impressive, but with the players it is amazing. ”

KRAMER also praised the atmosphere.

“I have not heard single complain so far. Also the players are taking everything so easy. I know it is big difference between this event and the Top 16; also I am sure the tension will rise and some of them will get more emotional, as we came closer to the final stages, but so far they are all relaxed. As I can see we have a wonderful  table tennis festival in Tampere.”

In 2017 the EVC will be held in Sweden. The contacts are already underway. However the destiny of the Team’s EVC will be soon on agenda. Last year the system did not meet the expectations. 

“It have been the discussed yesterday with the members of the ETTU Veterans Committee. Chair, Zdenko KRIZ informed me that they will come up with a proposal to the Executive Board to include a team’s competition. I am quite open to it. Let’s wait and see what the proposal is. If it is feasible, if it manageable, if we can regulate it in the way it can be called European Championships…There are many details we have to discuss, but we have enough time, since it will not be in calendar before 2019.”

But let’s focus on now and here; the real heat in Tampere is yet to come, but even now everybody enjoys a great time in Finland. 

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