At the ITTF:
At the German Table Tennis Federation (DTTB):
In that time, I believe we, the global Table Tennis family, have achieved excellent success and it is my determined ambition to continue to create more players and fans and drive forward the development of the sport around the world.
As the current ITTF President, I would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to all the hard work undertaken over many years by each and every National Association to advance our sport. In addition, I would like to thank the great team of staff and volunteers at the ITTF who also work tirelessly to promote and develop Table Tennis globally. Without all this wonderful support, the ITTF and its continental and national bodies would not be in the healthy position we presently occupy and we would not be able to provide the tools and benefits to help our Table Tennis stakeholders grow further.
Above everything else, I am a Table Tennis fan and player and through my many years working in our great sport, I have dedicated my time and energy to ensuring Table Tennis has a prosperous present and future. Now, as a candidate standing for election as ITTF President in May, you have my absolute and unwavering commitment that I will carry out the pledges I make to guarantee the ITTF goes from strength to strength and that Table Tennis thrives for generations more.
I believe I am the right person to lead the ITTF at this crucial time and deliver great benefits to all National Associations because I proudly served as President of the German Table Tennis Federation for more than 10 years. With this track-record, I know the opportunities, challenges and the daily workings of a National Association. This invaluable experience leading a very successful Federation means I truly understand the support each Member needs to develop and succeed.
Now I am delighted to present to you my Manifesto for Presidency of the ITTF. This document expresses my unique vision and plans to consolidate the excellent work that has been achieved to date and details how I believe we can make Table Tennis reach even greater heights.
My Manifesto is also an opportunity to present myself to you and show my character, my values and illustrate the way I would lead the ITTF with integrity, transparency and dignity. If I have the honour of being elected President of the ITTF, my term in office would be guided by the principles of openness, collaboration and constructive dialogue.
With my record of more than 15 years leading National and International Table Tennis Associations, I will bring experience, credibility and an urgent sense of purpose to the ITTF at an important time for our sport. Also, with my professional background in sports law, I will be strategic, innovative and creative in order to deliver a bright future for the ITTF and all National Associations. I recognise, however, this can only be achieved by working in close partnership with every Continental and National Association. I am committed to making sure this happens.
I am fully focused on the role of ITTF President and I will never be distracted from the key task of developing, promoting and protecting the interests of global Table Tennis. My objective is to deliver value to the National Associations – no matter their size, history or sporting record.
As someone who is dedicated to and has a core passion for Table Tennis, I believe I am the right person to guide the ITTF through the next stage of its global journey, unlock the immense potential of our sport, engage more players and fans and deliver powerful commercial and marketing benefits for the whole Table Tennis family – all conducted in the spirit of trust, optimism and sporting friendship.
Most recently, it was wonderful that the ITTF Executive Committee decided to endorse the four new Member applications from Bahamas, Cape Verde, Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau, which will be considered for acceptance at our AGM in May. Once the ITTF AGM accepts these four Members, every country in the world will be represented by a Table Tennis National Association – taking the total number to 226 and making Table Tennis the first sport to be truly global.
I want to see the continued growth of Table Tennis and, working closely with our Continental Federations and National Associations, I pledge to:
I believe Table Tennis has a thriving future and this confidence is based on the global spread of events on our international calendar. The ITTF World Tour, Challenge Tour and World Cups, as well as our regional projects, now involves all continents and we were treated to an exciting conclusion at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 Grand Finals in Doha. This was in addition to the other World Class events we saw in 2016.
The great diversity of locations and venues around the world showing the desire to host ITTF events highlights the strength of interest in the sport and the potential to accelerate growth to new territories. This year, we can look forward to an amazing new Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour and Challenge Series, which will provide a great competition platform for athletes around the world.
The ITTF and Table Tennis events are already experiencing the benefits of these new strategies as we were proud to announce Seamaster as the new sponsor of the World Tour. We are now on track to form new sponsorships which will increase funding and create further value for Continental and National Associations to grow and develop Table Tennis around the world.
I also have concrete plans to initiate further marketing and promotion courses for National Associations so all Members can enhance their communications with key audiences.
We are a fast-paced, energetic and modern sport and our ‘presentation brand’ should reflect this – with the aim to attract more and younger spectators and make our sport more understandable for general sports enthusiasts.
We were thrilled to host in 2016 a joint Para Table Tennis project with United Nations Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in Nepal on World Table Tennis Day. All the stakeholders involved in this project hailed it a success and it promoted Para Table Tennis effectively to international audiences – resulting in being awarded a prestigious Peace and Sport Award.
I was extremely proud to watch all the amazing Table Tennis Paralympians making history and thrilling the world at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. With my pledge to continue developing Para Table Tennis, I will ensure that our wonderful sport is open and accessible to people with disabilities, and that the ITTF supports and promotes these remarkable and talented athletes on all media platforms.
I am confident that the ideas I have proposed here will bring great benefits to all Table Tennis stakeholders which will help our sport expand with more young people becoming athletes, more people watching and consuming our sport and greater revenues flowing into the Table Tennis Family.
I very much hope – from the way I have led the ITTF since 2014 and the results that have been achieved – that you feel I am the right person to help steer our sport and organisation into an even greater era that maximises opportunities, harnesses the latest innovations and technologies and confirms Table Tennis as the sport that sets the benchmark for good governance, integrity and transparency.
I have built a strong team politically and professionally at the ITTF and with the right approach, we can make Table Tennis even more global and successful – with greater commercial success and increased revenues across the world. I know I possess the drive, international experience, energy and skills to deliver on my promises and generate value for your Associations.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my vision and plans in greater detail and talking through my Manifesto over the coming weeks. As a sport, we have much to celebrate but also a lot of hard work to do to ensure we remain on the right path to achieve great results. As always, my door is open to you and I welcome any comments or questions that you may have.
This is a Manifesto for all of us and by working in a spirit of true collaboration with our Continental and National Associations, I know we can unlock our great potential and secure an even brighter future for global Table Tennis. If I have the honour of continuing as President, I will invest all my energies to making this happen and taking our sport to the next level of international success.
I look forward to welcoming you all to the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in my home country Germany!