ATTU “Aim for the Stars” Second Timeframe begins
Following many successful development projects organised by the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU) over recent decades such as Ideal Asia, China Table Tennis Association Equipment Assistance, Double Happiness Fund Programme and Pathways to Success, the ATTU released their new venture “Aim for the Stars” at the 2019 Asian Championships in Indonesia.
“Aim for the Stars” is an innovative and flexible two year initiative with an annual budget of US$250,000 to meet the needs of both the regions – East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Middle Asia, West Asia - and the National Associations.
The first time frame started in September 2019 with the ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and just now concluded with what would have been the start to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The second time frame has now begun and will conclude by the 2021 Asian Championships.
Leading the initiative alongside Iran’s Afshin Badiee, ATTU Development Director, is Glenn Tepper, appointed as ATTU Projects Director. A staff member of the International Table Tennis Federation for 20 years, he was responsible for establishing the ITTF Development Program and the ITTF Coach Accreditation system before assuming the role of ITTF Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Notably in Yogyakarta, they presented this project to the ATTU Executive Board on Monday 16th September and to delegates at the Biennial General Meeting two days later. On Thursday 19th September a workshop for National Associations and Regions was held.
Examining the varying requirements and priorities were discussed at a regional brainstorming session, one major project on the agenda to benefit each region alongside individual funding for the national associations according to needs was agreed.
Additionally, the workshop covered such useful topics such as accessing funds and programmes from different sources including Olympic Solidarity.
Planning was well under way for one major Regional Project, and one smaller National Project for each Regional and National Association, when covid19 hit.
This put a stop to most competition and development initiatives, so ATTU “Aim for the Stars” together with Korea Table Tennis Association produced 12 weekly coaching videos to assist coaches and players during lockdown.
Due to international travel being stopped only South Asia managed to complete their Regional Project prior to the lockdown, and National Associations were instead offered a National Project with a budget of US$6000. For the second timeframe National Associations will again be offered a National Project with a budget of US$6000, with unused funding carrying over to the second timeframe.
“I am extremely happy to work together with ATTU on this exciting new project. The National Associations have reacted very favourably to this new concept and we are looking for creative and flexible means to continue the project while activities are limited due to covid19”, said Glenn Tepper.
It was a similar reaction from Afshin Badiee. “We have done a lot in last two decades to reduce the gap between the east and other regions of Asia. We can now proudly announce that we are getting there, but there is still lot more to be done to make a balance in every region hence our new project Aim for the Stars”.
Projects Completed to Date
South Asia Regional Project: a training camp was staged at the Anshul Garg Academy, New Dehli, India, 3-24 November, 2019. Proceedings were led by Malta’s Mario Genovese and India’s Anshul Garg in preparation for the South Asia Games which was staged in Kathmandu, Nepal from Sunday 1st to Thursday 12th December.
‘This was a great initiative by the Asian Table Tennis Union and we hope that we can utilize all that we have learnt from the experts back home with our coaches and players.
Many things were very effective and there were new things to learn every day.
All the players are returning very motivated and feeling very ready for the South Asian Games coming up soon. Thank you to all the coaches and their assistants.
Krishan Wickramarathne, National Player Sri Lanka team
Bangladesh: equipment assistance of nine tables and nets plus 1,800 three-star balls.
Bhutan: an umpires and referees course held under the direction of Hong Kong’s Chan Cheong-Ki from Tuesday 11th to Monday 17th February.
One of the candidates Namgay Dorji who is also the administrator for BTTF expressed:
“The Course was very informative as it is first time for us to have such courses in our country. I have learnt a lot and some of the doubts which I had are all cleared now.”
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates: sent players to different ITTF events in October and November which included the ITTF Premium World Junior Circuit tournament in Oman in addition to the ITTF World Tour Platinum Austria Open plus ITTF Challenge Series tournaments in both Belarus and Indonesia.
Iran: equipment assistance of 5400 balls for National and Regional training
Mr. Mehrdad Alighardashi, President of I.R.Iran Table Tennis Federation commented: "At the Asian Championships in Indonesia last year ATTU’s “Aim for the Stars” Program was inaugurated. Thanks to ATTU, it was a motivative idea for Asian countries. We use this budget to participate in the Austria and Belarus Open, achieving a great result, last year and due to Covid-19, with regards to ATTU, giving this chance to receive the rest of budget as the equipment.
Maldives: equipment requested for the Atoll Development Programme including 11 tables with nets and scorers, 110 rackets, 1,100 balls
Ali Rasheed, Table Tennis Association of Maldives[TTAM] President said: “Thank you very much for ATTU starting the “Aim for the Stars” Program for each region. This will surely help our youth in achieving higher goals and developing the sport in the country. Special thanks to ATTU Projects Director Mr Glenn. We look forward receiving more of such opportunities and thank you very much for your continued support at all times”
Mongolia: training camp in Korea 29.1-28.2.20
Bolor-Erdene.B, a 16 year old member of the Women’s Team commented:
“This is my first time training in foreign country. I could learn some new skills from Korean young players. They do very well and have high level, hard training everyday. It was so good experience and good memory."
Nepal: staged junior training camp from Sunday 22nd to Thursday 26th December; the head coach was India’s Anshul Garg.
“On behalf of ANTTA and NOC Nepal, I would like to extend my heartiest gratitude and thanks to ATTU & specially Mr. Glenn for the kind support to table tennis players of Nepal. This type of special program helps a lot to enhance the junior players of Nepal We hope to have these kind of supports in near future too.Thank you ATTU and thank you Glenn.”Jivan Ram Shrestha-ANTTA President
Oman: Oman players participating in the ITTF Premium World Junior Circuit tournament in Oman received new rubbers
Sri Lanka: staged from Friday 18th October to Friday 1st November, the first national project was staged in preparation for the South Asia Games. Aleksey Yefremov of Belarus was the head coach
“Amazing Camp with Aleksey. To the players he gave his experience 100%. New techniques, knowledge about the game, courage , determination , and new hope to the players. He has the ability to bring all the players to his programme”
Chandana Perera (Sri Lanka Technical Delegate)