ITTA Formally Ratified as Member of Paralympics Ireland

On the 19th June 2013, the ITTA was formally ratified as a member of Paralympics Ireland.

Previously, Irish Wheelchair Association Sport have governed the sport of Paralympic Table Tennis since the forming of Paralympics Ireland. In line with the policy of the International Paralympic Committee to have all sports independent of IPC by 2016, the International Governance of Table Tennis transferred to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in 2008. Each National Paralympic Committee where requested to coordinate a national transfer of governance from the Paralympic National Federation to the recognised national affiliate of the ITTF.

Following completion of a Memorandum of Understanding between IWA and the ITTA in May 2013, the formal transfer of governance and the ITTA’s appointment as a member of Paralympics Ireland was agreed.

Speaking after the EGM, PI CEO Liam Harbison stated;

“We are delighted to have the ITTA join the Irish Paralympic Family and look forward to working with the ITTA to grow and develop Paralympic table tennis throughout the table tennis community in Ireland.  We’d also like to commend the ITTA and the Irish Wheelchair Association Sport on the efficient and cordial manner in which the transfer of governance was completed with the development of Paralympic table tennis the central core value of the discussions. “

ITTA International Director Ken Strong stated;

The Irish Association has been working with the Irish Wheelchair Association for a few years in an effort to grow the “One Family” approach of our disabled and able-bodied athletes competing in the same tournaments. Over this period we have seen an increase in the number of players competing in our leagues and competitions. We hope to continue to extend these good working relationships within the Paralympic Family.” 

The Memorandum of Understanding document outlines a transitional period towards Rio 2016, with key milestones identified. The first of which is the nomination of an Associate Director for Para TT to the ITTA Board – the Board are delighted to announce that Rena McCarron Rooney(pictured here at London 2012 – image courtesy of Paralympics Ireland) has accepted this position and will play a key role in driving this process forward, supported by the soon to be formed Para Sub-Committee, ITTA Staff and ITTA Directors.

In other Para TT news, this weekend sees a major coach development initiative, with 12 coaches taking part in a European Table Tennis Union technical course to be delivered by a leading international expert, Piotr Skierski from Poland. These volunteer coaches will be a major asset to the Association in developing Para TT at both grassroots and elite level.

The ITTA would like to thank all those involved in this major landmark for the Association, including Liam Harbison and his team and Nicky Hamill of IWA Sport.