Since March this year, I have attended numerous meetings electronically and it seems that ZOOM is the “new normal”.  For TTCAN it is in fact normal, but not because of the virus rather because of economic reasons. We had our AGM in June 2019 in person in Ottawa, and most of it was sponsored, therefore, at very little cost to TTCAN. We held all our Board meetings over the past year either by teleconference or by ZOOM. So, everywhere else, when all meetings at all levels, including family gatherings, conferences, webinars, etc., are being now held electronically due to the Covid-19 restrictions, we were already ahead of the game.

Normally, we should hold the 2020 TTCAN AGM in June. But due to the restrictions of the virus we decided to postpone the AGM to late September this year hoping that by then we could meet in person. However, there is some urgent business and decisions to be taken that cannot wait till September. So, it was decided to hold a Special General Assembly (SGA) as allowed by our Bylaws, on 20 June 2020, using ZOOM. As president of TTCAN, I called the meeting in order to deal with some urgent matters. We had 6 decisions to take: 2 financial matters, 3 committee matters and one membership matter.

I was very happy that 11 voting member associations and all 7 Board of Directors members answered the call and were present at the meeting (one of them with a proxy). Only Nunavut could not attend. All our staff also were able to attend as observers and to answer any questions that may be asked by the delegates.

With everyone’s full cooperation, the official part of the meeting was very smooth and efficient and took exactly 55 minutes from beginning to end. Six (6) motions were passed unanimously. The SGA approved the Audited Financial Statements (2019-2020); approved the 2020-2021 budget; made an adjustment to the Nomination Committee; extended the mandate of the Audit and Finance Committee for one more year; responded positively to the Athletes Representative’s initiative to start an Athlete Commission; and finally re-admitted the New Brunswick TTA as a member of TTCAN. Within 55 minutes all the urgent matters were concluded positively.

The SGA complimented and praised our Audit & Finance Committee, Gabe Ng (Chair) and its members Rob Chan, Ron Edwards and Ben Seto for their diligent and hard work in their preparation for the 2019-2020 Audit and for the valuable advice provided to the Board during the year.

It is also very exciting to note that Alayna Chan has started the procedures, with the SGA endorsement, to form an Athlete Commission by September composed of 6 to 8 Athletes respecting gender equity, including athletes with a disability and retired athletes.  This will give athletes more involvement in the decision-making process and also keeping them more informed of the operations of our association.

The highlight of the SGA was the re-admission of the NBTTA as a member of TTCAN. The recently elected president of the NBTTA, Mr. Virgilio Santos, provided an insight into the “new” NBTTA, its goals and its activities. There are currently 3 centres in New Brunswick where table tennis is active, and the plan is to spread this activity throughout the province. TTCAN will of course assist our returning member and offer all the help it needs.

We now have a full house at TTCAN with 10 provinces and 3 territories members of our association. It was also noted that the members have supported the Board actions and decisions over the last year, and the Members are given the right to take decisions that concern them, which previously were made by the Board.

Although the SGA was inadvertently scheduled on Father’s Day, it was impressive to see all the fathers in attendance at this meeting. In the future we will be more careful when selecting a meeting date.

Here is a summary of the decisions taken by the SGA:

  • Approved the 2019-2020 Audited Financial Statements, noting a reduction of our accumulated deficit and being at least one year ahead of the Deficit Reduction Plan.
  • Approved the 2020-2021 Budget, which if respected would erase the accumulated deficit by the end of the financial year.
  • Added one member to the Nomination Committee, Mrs. Farida Chishti.
  • Extended the mandate of the current members of the Audit & Finance Committee for one more year.
  • Cheerfully and warmly re-admitted the NBTTA as a member of TTCAN.

You can access the Minutes and decisions on the TTCAN website by clicking on this link: https://ttcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/MINUTES-SGA-20-Jun-2020.pdf

After the conclusion of the meeting, each delegate had the opportunity to bring up any maters and ask any questions.

We are all observing carefully and with a lot of interest the “return to play”. We are all anxious for our competitions to start again, for our athletes to resume training and for our national team to represent us internationally as soon as possible.

Hopefully the AGM in late September could be held in person, and if not possible, we will then rely again on our Board member, Thorsten Gohl, to set-up an electronic meeting on ZOOM.

Adham Sharara
President