Twillingate, NL, native Bruce Burton is the newest member of the International Table Tennis Federation’s Executive Committee. International table tennis has experience a dramatic make-over under the presidency of another Canadian, Adham Sharara. Mr. Sharara moved on from his post as President of the ITTF to that of the newly created ITTF Chair. The ITTF’s BOD filled this vacancy with Mr. Sharara’s long time supporter, former table Tennis Canada president, Bruce Burton.
In a recent interview, Burton commented on Adham Sharara’s presidency and his impact on table tennis on the international stage: “Adham has professionalized our federation to the point that now we can realistically aim for Top 5 status [among the Olympic summer sports.] The increase in activity, in professional staff, and the growth in competitions and revenues generated speak to the impact his vision has had.”
Mr. Burton has an impressive resumé when it comes to his involvement in table tennis:
Returning from a guest lecture at Beijing’s Sport University, Mr. Burton laid out his plans for his new position. Part of his responsibility will be to act as the liaison to the North American Table Tennis in the ITTF Executive Committee; to that end, he makes the promotion of table tennis in North America his priority: “There is no doubt in my mind that our biggest contribution has to be in the area of promotion. With the recent growth of table tennis in North America, our continent has shown its potential as a huge market for table tennis. The challenge is to break through the barriers posed by the major professional sports that dominate television coverage as well as marketing possibilities.”
When asked how he proposed to improve promotion in North America, Mr. Burton elaborated, “We first must raise the level of the presentation of our sport and to that end we are already working closely with the ITTF Marketing Department to do exactly that for our major continental events.”
“I believe that we also need to host more high-level ITTF events and that will, in part, provide our top athletes with the valuable exposure to elite table tennis that they need. That, along with a serious proposal to start a North American league will hopefully generate a talent pool that will make our marketing and promotion efforts more attainable.”
“We are proud to have Bruce join the ITTF Executive Committee, and we will of course invite him to our planning meetings whenever possible,” commented David Jackson, President of Table Tennis Canada, on his predecessor’s rise to the highest governing committee in the International Table Tennis Federation.
The ITTF has 220 national member associations.
The ITTF’s main office is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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