ITTF wins inaugural Global Popularity and Expansion award
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has been judged to be the number one International Federation in the category of Global Popularity and Expansion. The award was unveiled at the inaugural SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Federation and Associa
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has been judged to be the number one International Federation in the category of Global Popularity and Expansion. The award was unveiled at the inaugural SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Federation and Association Awards following a period of detailed analysis and consultation with external expert judges.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated: “It is a huge honour for the ITTF to win this prestigious category. ITTF has targeted global popularity and expansion at many different levels, starting with our development and education programs at the base and mid level, while working with competition, marketing and promotion, to reach the pinnacle. This award is a justification that our efforts are paying off.”
The award was on the back of ITTF’s effort in growing the sport of table tennis to become the equal largest International Federation in terms of member organisations (currently at 220 from 180 in 1998), and global participants up to 200 million through the ITTF’s internally acclaimed development program.
When the ITTF started the Development Program in 1999, one of the goals was to have table tennis played in every corner of the world, but more importantly, to do so in a sustainable way.
Since 1999, the ITTF targeted 2-3 new countries per year assisting them with setup administration, as well as technical courses and equipment assistance to get to the stage now where there are only four members of the IOC family remaining, and achieving the highest number of National Federations of any International Federation. This provides the base of the ITTF’s pyramid approach, but also not neglecting the importance of tackling each part of the pyramid, providing a pathway to Olympic Champion through a comprehensive competition and education program – from Hopes (Under 12) to Cadet to ITTF Global Junior Circuit and culminating with the ITTF World Tour.
Peter COX (Sport New Zealand), who was on the judging panel explained why he and his fellow judges felt the ITTF should win this Award category: “The ITTF’s submission for these Awards reveals an organisation that is well organised, lean and very committed to growing its game on all fronts using an action orientated approach, and making effective use of partnerships to achieve this. The ITTF’s plan is very clear and crisp in what it is trying to achieve, with whom and how. It displays a very segmented understanding of the members, the many different reasons they are involved with the sport and the pathways they follow.”
In addition to the Global Popularity and Expansion, the ITTF was also shortlisted in the top 10 for the top prize of the Ultimate Sports Federations and Associations, as well as being nominated for an additional four categories: Events Calendar and Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Innovation, Inclusivity.