Lord, forgive me for the rough and rowdy ways I have been travelling in the name of International Table Tennis. I have seen things. I know things. I have given it my best. I have developed the sport – gone the extra mile for young talents. I have touched the borders, often letting passion and vision take over.
This very evening. Deep down in Dubai at the GAC World Tour Finals – The New Guidelines for Development of the Sport was presented at a gala style dinner by the ITTF President Adham Sharara. Let’s drop to our knees and pray that those very same guidelines recognize the changes happening in our sport and also take into account the problems out there. We need , more than ever , solid investments in the youth to come along with firm and direct ITTF Development initiatives.
It is not an easy puzzle to finish – The development of a sport that has done a lot of things right the last few years when professional staff was empowered to make changes – to adjust and to seek progress on a daily basis. It will be interesting to see also if the new guidelines touch on the screaming needs to re-model our professional tournament structure to give young emerging players a clearer pathway to success. This is desperately needed as the current pro model only seems to cater to the already rich…
What was it .. ? .. 1 million dollar investment from the ITTF ? Doing just the simple math it seems like we will send around 500,000 of that money to the Chinese Table Tennis Association …and then they dropped the doubles and the U21 events completely..
We have been told to focus on, and to make TT , one of the top five sports in the Olympic Game We can do it. But predictability and the current competitive imbalance is our nr one enemy. We need to find a suitable and dynamic model to drive young emerging talents to excellence and stardom – not by doing all the work ourselves as an international table tennis federation of course – but by connecting development initiatives with a pro tournament model that engages, motivates and rewards emerging talents..
But hey – an evening like this.. I don’t know – but my thoughts goes to the priceless and ever so accurate Seinfeld show and Frank Costanza announcing that Festivus is Back..!
Here comes a Friday evening entertainment clip – as good as it gets.. Festivus for the Rest of Us..
And .. Why not add a play list of good quality – just to pump up the volume . A lot of life. A lot of unknown pieces. But overall – a bluesy festivus for the rest of us…
Happy Festivus – I will now walk my dog..in the rain !