ITTF and ETTU sign Continental Development Memorandum of UnderstandingPedro Moura - ETTU Vice President, Ronald Kramer – ETTU President, Thomas Weikert – ITTF President, Petra Sörling – ITTF Executive Committee Member
On Saturday 2 February 2019, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) signed the 2019-2020 Continental Development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) in Montreux, Switzerland, making it the first signing Continental Federation
The 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup held in Montreux was not only an event for European table tennis stars were battling for the title. It was also an occasion for a significant moment in continental development. ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT and ETTU President Ronald KRAMER signed one of the most crucial documents for the continuing effective and progressive development cooperation between ITTF and ETTU with the 2019-2020 Continental Development MoU.
In line with the ITTF Strategic Plan, the 2019-2020 Continental Development MoUs aim at developing a system that is based on objective factors, real and realistic needs, and are guided by good governance principles. The Strategic Plan introduced the National Association categorization concept, which establishes a needs-based approach based on an objective and comprehensive set of criteria: technical level, demographics, management, membership. Its goal is also to ensure an effective use of the ITTF’s investment. Indeed, the considerable 30% overall increase in funding for 2019 and 2020 amounts to a planned investment of US$1.5 million per year.
ITTF’s aim is that each MoU is designed in accordance with each continent’s profile and portfolio. A common thread and one of the major pillars that cannot be omitted is an enhanced high performance development program. A complex and optimized range of high performance activities and the addition of the first ever U21 training camps are just the next important steps towards excellence.
This MoU provides the opportunity to enrich and expand the ETTU Development Program for 2019-2020 through efficient ITTF-ETTU coordination and evaluation of the well-structured path for table tennis development of young promising athletes through the EuroTalents Program. Furthermore, the strengthened National Associations Assistance Program aims to identify and support Associations with greater basic development needs.
To sum up, the ITTF-ETTU Development Program will strengthen the existing talent identification programs through the hosting of U12, U13, U15, U17 development camps, where highly talented youth players will receive top level technical, physical, mental and tactical support and coaching. In addition, the agreed Program will provide educational coaching activities as a platform to upskill and empower European coaches and share common knowledge and experience.
Furthermore, the aim is to consider the development needs of the whole continent, starting with demanding high performance activities to basic development courses for Associations focusing more on grassroots.
ETTU President Ronald KRAMER and Vice President Pedro MOURA are enthusiastic about this new form of cooperation and support.
President KRAMER said : “I am very pleased for table tennis development in Europe that the ITTF has reached out to Europe and now intensively supports and strengthens our Development Program, which we started in 2014. Apart from the overall development of our sport, I hope this cooperation will further boost our high performance efforts to close the gap with our Asian friends.”
ETTU Vice President MOURA added: "Europe has been an historically key Continent in the development of our beloved sport. I am very pleased that this agreement with ITTF has been signed, allowing ETTU to keep working on its Development Program so European young players can keep the highest level of performances."
The other five continents have already received a copy of a customized Memorandum of Understanding, but so far the ETTU is the first Continental Federation to sign the 2019-2020 MoU and will benefit from the support that comes with it. Until further signings take place, the programs in the other Continents will be applied based on the current schemes.