ETTU | 6 Oct 2021

DVORAK:" Listening to athletes is crucial for sport"

In the past four years Galia DVORAK has led the ETTU Athletes Commission. During the Congress in Cluj on the occasion of the GAZPROM European Team Championships, Galia gave a farewell speech which touched the hearts of many, but also highlighted a few very important improvements that will be the legacy of DVORAK's great work.

"My four year term has ended and it has been a tremendous pleasure for me but I decided to not run for another term: a new commission has been appointed and soon they will nominate a new chair," stated Galia.

Starting a new term together will be Chiara COLANTONI (ITA), Paul DRINKHALL (ENG), Polina MIKHAILOVA (RUS), Jon PERSSON (SWE) and Jose RUIZ REYES (ESP) - Para TT.

"It took many of my colleagues by surprise that I decided to not run for the next term, and among many other reasons, the most important of them was the fact that when I was elected four years ago I was just an athlete with no experience in Federations and the vision and insights that I could bring to the table were only from the point of view of an athlete , what I think it is very positive in this position. Now, four years later, even though I am still an athlete and plan to be one, at least to some extent, until the day I die, I learnt a lot and I feel that my perspective changed on many things and I don't look at them with the eyes of an athlete anymore. Because of this reason, I think it is better this position is filled by a new face with a fresh voice."

GALIA brought athletes' voice to the highest ETTU body.  

"Also, I think that in these four years the Commission achieved some very important things. Maybe the most important of them was the voting rights in the Executive Board for the Athletes' Chair which was actually a suggestion of my colleague and chair of the ITTF Athlete's Commission, Zoran PRIMORAC. But I would like to say, that besides the fact of actually having a vote, it has been very pleasant to see how my voice and opinions were really heard and taken into account. If you let me share the story, I remember coming home after my first meeting and my parents, both from the table tennis world asked me how did it go. I answered them, "you know? they are actually listening to me!" which took me a bit by surprise. Because of this, I would really like to thank the ETTU staff, my colleagues of the previous Executive Board, the current Executive Board and the President for involving me from the very beginning in all the decision-making process and letting me learn so much from them. And finally, I would like to encourage you to continue doing so: listening to the athletes in your organizations is crucial for sport. Thank you."