The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has become the first International Sports Federation (ISF) to have every country on earth as a member.
The world table tennis governing body achieved the milestone of 226 member-associations after the endorsement of its induction of four new countries.
A report on the ITTF website listed the countries as Bahamas, Cape Verde, Eritrea and Guinea Bissau, saying they were officially approved at the ITTF Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 31.
Presidents of the newly elected members are from Bahamas, Geoffrey McPhee; from Cape Verde, Jorge Silva whilst in Eritrea it is Berhane Isaac, in Guinea Bissau Avelina Jandi.
The milestone of 226 member-associations means that table tennis has built its presence in all corners of the globe, and is being played in all countries and territories on earth.
The report said ITTF President, Thomas Weikert, who was in Guinea Bissau to celebrate the founding of the country’s table tennis federation, was very excited about the development.
“For the ITTF and for myself, our small associations have been a clear priority for many years, thanks to the dedicated work of the ITTF Development Department.
“Our focus must now be the empowerment of our smallest and most recent members and, through our ITTF Marketing Department, we have secured the support of Seamaster to achieve this,” he said.
The ITTF Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Tepper, who is in charge of Development and Education & Training, and who started the ITTF Development Programme back in 1999, was equally excited.
“This has been a great team effort from many people, from ITTF Development and Education staff, to Continental Presidents, to ITTF Course Conductors and many others,” he stated.
The ITTF report stated that plaques were presented to the new members at the AGM, followed by the release of a “Pingsider” video, subtitled in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.
It said the video was to celebrate Guinea Bissau as the 226th and final member.
The new member-associations will also get 5,000 dollars equipment support .