Dear Table Tennis friends,

As we approach the end of 2019 and welcome the new year, on behalf of our Board of Directors, I would like to wish all our table tennis athletes, coaches and officials, and our member provincial/territorial associations a wonderful time during the holidays, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Table Tennis Canada had a very tough 2019 year. We received the audited financial statements in May 2019, and we were shocked to discover a huge financial deficit ($420K), which in fact turned out to be even worse as we discovered more debts that had not been paid by previous management. On the 8th of June a new Board of Directors was elected, and a new management structure was adopted.

The new Board is working in total harmony respecting the priorities established by our member associations. We are slowly, but surely, moving forward with remedial actions to take Table Tennis Canada to the level it deserves, while fixing the broken foundation mindful of the extreme financial restrictions due to the deficit.

Over the last seven months, we have achieved the following:

  • Restructured our professional staff by drastically reducing the number of full-time staff and replacing them by volunteer committees and expert consultants.
  • Reduced expenses by closing the national office in Markham.
  • Established a “Deficit Reduction Plan” over a 3-year period.
  • Widened the responsibilities of the Audit Committee and converted it to the new “Finance and Audit Committee”.
  • Formed a High Performance Commission to oversee the national team program activities and budget.
  • Held a successful Annual General Meeting (General Assembly) in Ottawa.
  • Delivered a successful Canadian Junior Championships in Summerside, PEI, with limited financial and human resources.
  • Maintained as much as possible the activities of the national team especially in international participation.
  • Introduced new selection methods for major international events through objective selection tournaments (trials).
  • Hired a part-time “High Performance Consultant”, Mr. Dejan Papic, to manage the national team program.
  • Ended the mandate of national coaches and established an event-per-event selection of national level coaches to accompany the national team at international events.
  • Started the planning to establish three (3) High Performance Training Centres (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) in 2020 as an integral part of the National Team program
  • Revamped the Coaching Certification program (NCCP) and engaged a new “Coaching and Athlete Development Consultant”, Mr. Marles Martins, on a half-time basis.
  • Established a new Officials Committee and updated the selection policies for officials (Umpires and Referees).
  • Established the new National Office, effective 1 January 2020, at the “House of Sport” in Ottawa.
  • Prepared through the new Competition Committee a proposal for a new Grand Prix series of events across Canada to be implemented in the 2020-21 season pending approval of the Board and the Members Council.
  • Started the necessary changes to the Rating system.
  • Started the design of an integrated competition and results system online, integrated to the Rating system.
  • Combined for 2020 the National Championships in July (Junior and Senior), while the ParaTT National Championships confirmed for March 2020 in Mississauga, ON.
  • Finalized the “Internal Nomination Policy” with the Canadian Olympic Committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Finalized with Sport Canada the Athlete Assistance Program (Carding) selection policy for table tennis for 2020.
  • Started the design of a new website to be launched in 2020.
  • Started the planning to implement new initiatives for “Safety In Sport” and also for “Gender Equity”, respecting the Canadian Government’s priorities.
  • Started to streamline the “Operations” aspect of TTCAN.

Once the cracks in the TTCAN foundation are fixed, we will launch new programs to take table tennis in Canada to new heights such as:

  • Establishing an “Athletes Commission”.
  • Adopting new Bylaws for TTCAN.
  • Creating an Under-13 (and possibly U-11) special development competition and training program across Canada to develop a new generation of table tennis athletes.
  • Developing a Sponsorship and Marketing program to generate new sources of income for TTCAN .
  • Designing a new ParaTT plan to recruit and develop ParaTT athletes.
  • Reviewing and revising all of TTCAN’s policies including the Appeal Policy.
  • Preparing for the 2023 Canada Winter Games to present our sport in the best possible way.

A lot of work has been done and there still remains a lot of work in front of us. The future success of TTCAN as a national sport organisation depends on the cooperation and understanding of all stakeholders and partners of TTCAN including the athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, staff and our members, the provincial/territorial associations.

I would like to thank all my colleagues on the Board of Directors for their full support and contributions. In particular I would like to highlight the work of our Finance and Administration Director, Mr. Rob Chan, for guiding us through some very difficult financial times. I also would like to thank our Board member, Thorsten Gohl, for taking on many responsibilities previously handled by staff and for activating our current website and Facebook page.

I would also like to thank our staff and consultants, Julia He, Michele Matthews, Jeremy Carvahlo, and more recently Dejan Papic and Marles Martins.

On behalf of TTCAN, I wholeheartedly thank David Joseph (Sport Canada), Paul Zachau (AAP), Jacqueline Tittley (Coaching Association), Veronica Brenner (Olympic Committee), Karen O’Neill and Catherine-Gosselin Després (Paralympic Committee), and Caroline Trono (Sport for Life) and many others for their patience, guidance, assistance and advice. Without their help TTCAN would not be able to rebuild.

I am very optimistic that with everyone’s help, support and cooperation, TTCAN will rebuild into a very successful national sport association in full harmony and understanding with its member provincial/territorial associations.

We will now focus our attention on the Olympic Qualification events in March 2020 and wish our athletes all the best in their quest to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the singles and mixed doubles events.

I wish all of you a very successful New Year and hope that all our objectives will be met as planned.

Sincerely,

Adham Sharara
President – Table Tennis Canada