On 22nd July 2019, in Toronto, Thorsten Gohl, Board of Directors member responsible for Marketing and Communications, and Dejan Papic, our High Performance Commission Chair, met with my good friend and table tennis aficionado, Zhang Lei, to discuss future plans for TTCAN.

Zhang Lei was assistant coach and then National Coach of the Qatar National team before immigrating to Canada with his young family 7 years ago. He has extensive technical knowledge, as well as great marketing skills. In fact, he was the main person who found most of the sponsors for the ITTF’s Women World Cup held in Markham in October 2017.

Zhang Lei is also the organizer of the annual Table Tennis Panda Cup, which is held in Toronto and attracts the various groups within the Chinese Community in Ontario. However, as of this year, the Panda Cup will be transformed into a multicultural table tennis festival, with groups from various cultural backgrounds participating, including a group from Quebec.

On 23rd July 2019, a follow-up meeting took place in Ottawa, attended by Zhang Lei and Dejan Papic, at which I received the details of a possible cooperation between TTCAN and Zhang Lei. We discussed many aspects including marketing, sponsorship, development and the national team. This was a very positive and fruitful meeting. I am very optimistic in the future of table tennis in Canada.

Both meetings in Toronto and in Ottawa were very positive and very motivating. It is a pleasure to listen and discuss ideas with a young and enthusiastic expert such as Zhang Lei. We agreed in principle, pending the approval of the TTCAN Board, to officially and directly involve Zhang Lei in our marketing and sponsorship plans, as well as in other areas in which he is an expert, especially in the development of young talents across the country.

A detailed proposal will be made to the Board, which will hopefully result in a very close relationship with Zhang Lei for the benefit of table tennis in Canada.

I would like to thank our Board member, Thorsten Gohl and Dejan Papic, HPC Chair, for arranging the two meetings.

Adham Sharara
President – TTCAN