Baku 2015, a place and a year…
2015: another year ahead of us. And how the year is starting! Apart from the ongoing club competitions and the many challenges we are meeting in that area, we are starting with the NN Table Tennis Club ITTF Europe Top-16 Cup in Baku (AZE) on February 6-8t
2015: another year ahead of us. And how the year is starting! Apart from the ongoing club competitions and the many challenges we are meeting in that area, we are starting with the NN Table Tennis Club ITTF Europe Top-16 Cup in Baku (AZE) on February 6-8th. For the first time in history the Azerbaijan Table Tennis Federation (ASTF) is organising one of our most prestigious events.
Baku will also be hosting the first ever European Games in June, with table tennis prominent on its programme. When we started preparations for the Top-16, the event would be used as a testing event for the European Games, being played in the same venue, and most of the conditions would be comparable to those that will prevail in June 2015. It also meant that three partners would have to work closely together: the ASTF with a new board, BEGOC, the local organising committee and ETTU. Realising that “two is company and three is a crowd” we had very little time to develop an adequate preparation of the event, with the ‘last minute’ change of the venue as an upsetting element.
ASTF, its President, Vice-President and its newly elected Secretary General did an enormous job in the months behind us. Their eagerness to really learn what it means to organise a major table tennis in their country deserves more than our respect. A compliment should also be made to BEGOC: of course we had discussions with them and will continue to do so, but always in a good atmosphere of trust, shared ambition and optimism. One of Europe’s greatest virtues is its diversity, in many respects. Respecting this diversity, we will have to continue learning from each other’s successes and failures in all aspects of our sport. And I feel proud to say that we have all learned a lot in preparing for the 2015 NN Table Tennis ITTF-Europe Top-16 Cup and with all ETTU members, I am very much looking forward to the result of our cooperation in Baku!