Singapore could be new Home of Table Tennis
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) moved its Asia-Pacific operations to a bigger, swankier Singapore office yesterday, and its chief executive officer Steve Dainton hinted that the Republic could have a bigger role to play.
With the table tennis governing body due to release a bid by next month for countries to host the new "Home of Table Tennis", he believes Singapore would "fit well" for the sport's new home.
According to him, the attributes of a good candidate include ease of travel, employment access for foreigners and a good business environment, which he feels apply to Singapore.
"Most of our staff are here now, so it would definitely fit well; we moved to Singapore in 2011 because we felt it's a very central location with strong legal systems, the travel around the world from Singapore is perfect and it fits from a business environment point of view," he told The Straits Times yesterday at the sidelines of the unveiling of its new Apac office at Gateway East on Beach Road.
"Changing the location of our headquarters needs approval at the AGM. But, if there was a country or city like Singapore that's ready to work with the ITTF to help us build that dream or ambition, we'll be ready to do that."
The ITTF last month decided at a meeting to release a bid to find the new "Home of Table Tennis", which will house the ITTF headquarters and the sport's International Centre of Excellence.
The "Home of Table Tennis" will be the centre of all things ITTF, with the core of the ITTF's staff moving there. It will also house all of the ITTF's high performance activities.
Its headquarters is currently in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The ITTF's Apac office, which was relocated from Toa Payoh, is already playing a bigger role with commercial staff and secretary-general Raul Calin moving to Singapore.
Singapore Table Tennis Association president Ellen Lee, who attended yesterday's launch, believes that having the Republic house the "Home of Table Tennis" would bring "a lot of vibrancy to Singapore and to the sport itself".
Sport Singapore chief CEO Lim Teck Yin, who was also present, said: "I think if our strategic interests align with the overall interests of the ITTF, we can certainly have that conversation."