ETTU | 16 Sep 2021
ETTU President Igor Levitin reflects on "unity and progress" in first year of Presidency
European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) President Igor Levitin was elected President of the organisation one year ago today, and working with the Executive Board over the past year has helped unite the European table tennis family and progress the sport during a challenging period.
Upon his election in September 2020, President Levitin shared a vision comprising of two key pillars – innovation and influence. Since then, the ETTU has implemented a number of new initiatives that have modernised the ETTU and helped the sport grow in a sustainable way, despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Levitin set out to engage with a modern generation of fans and attract young people to the sport. This ambition was aided by the successful and safe delivery of a number of major European events, including the European Championships, European club competitions and the European Youth Championships, as well as the strong performances of European athletes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The ETTU has undergone a series of governance and organisational reforms, with President Levitin and the Executive Board seeking to place athletes at the heart of all key decisions, increase transparency, and develop a fairer quota system. The ETTU has also made progress in terms of empowering member associations, increasing ETTU influence on the global stage, and growing revenues for the reinvestment to European table tennis.
Representative of the dynamic new era for the ETTU was the launch of the organisation's new logo on International Table Tennis Day in April. The logo reflects the organisation's new vision and the dynamism of the sport it represents. The two 'T's of the ETTU in the logo form a table – a central element of table tennis and a symbolic element of the sport. The new ETTU logo now forms the base for the event logos of all ETTU properties and ensures a consistency and uniformity to the brand, reflective of the unity in sport.
Reflecting on his first year, President Levitin said, "It has been an honour to work with the European table tennis family over the past year, a year which has at times been hard, but also rewarding and very memorable. The outstanding performances of our athletes in our ETTU events and at the Olympic Games are of course a key highlight. I also want to commend all of the ETTU event organisers for the flexibility and tenacity in ensuring elite athletes continued to have the opportunity to compete safely throughout the pandemic. I would also like to pay your attention to the fact that due to uneasy and challenging times because of COVID pandemic we will be able to show surplus budget for 2021 which did not happen before COVID times. That is why I would like to say thank you to our sponsors who believed in our projects and events and always ready to contribute for the best interest of table tennis development in Europe.
"There has been significant progress over the past 12 months but there is still so much more than can be done to elevate European table tennis. I am thankful to all Member Associations, the ETTU Executive Board and secretariat for their hard work and commitment, and most of all for showing unity in the face of adversity. I am also very grateful to our athletes, coaches, referees and volunteers, who give so much time and effort to growing table tennis across the continent and inspiring the future generations."