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ITF Hosts Informal Meetings in Argentina
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Following the magnificent finale of the ITF Pan-American Championships last October, several informal meetings were held with International Delegates, chaired by ITF President Grand Master Choi Jung Hwa.

In attendance together with the President were Master Nestor Galarraga (Argentina), Mario Troiano (Argentina) and ITF Vice President, Mr. Michael Tibollo (Canada) together with delegates from USA, Ireland, UK, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico and of course Argentina. The proceedings were translated between English and Spanish by Mrs. Geoghegan, a professional translator who once assisted the late Pope John Paul II by translating a televised conversation between him and the then President of Brazil.

President Choi was keen to hear what lessons had been learned by the delegation over the course of the championships that could be propagated through the ITF World. There was much discussion about the new-style, assessed umpires course, and how the event had benefited by having the umpires all participate in the course.

On behalf of ITF Administration, Mr. Panteli, at the invitation of President Choi explained the new facilities for self-administration that had been launched with the creation of the new ITF website. The President thanked Mr. Panteli for his work on behalf of the ITF and asked the delegates to recognise his efforts.

Master Galarraga raised the issue of the administrative management of the multi-border areas of Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and Brazil. He explained that this area was practically autonomous for administration purposes as its location was extremely remote the centres of government for the states involved. He ask if the ITF would consider allowing a single INO to be formed to manage the affairs of this area in respect of their affiliation with the ITF. The President said that there was no reason why such an administrative collaboration could not be formed, however, this would be strictly on the understanding that for the purposes of international representation, members of the collaborated group would be required to return to their own national bodies for selection and possible coaching.

The President explained that a similar situation had previously arisen with a community of members of Korean descent who now resided in a specific area of Japan. Mr. Panteli, asked the delegation to consider that under International Convention, it was possible for a person to decide to represent a country other that that of their own residence or nationality, if that person had, by descent, the right of nationality in another country. In the case of the South American region, it maybe that some may qualify to represent countries other than that within which they currently held nationality of, which may be more convenient or reasonable for them to travel to and compete with.

Master Galarraga asked the President to consider the formation of a Children's World Championships. The event to be held within the next 2 years, would only feature competitors between the ages of 10 and 12. A version of the ITF tournament rules would be adapted to ensure the safety of the participants. It was felt that this particular age group would benefit from such an event, which up until now had not been available to them in International form. All present agreed with Master Galarraga'sl, and the President invited him to present the ITF with a formal proposal for consideration.

The President was keen to meet individually with delegates to discuss current issues within their own countries. In particular, he was pleased to meet with Mr. Denis Magua and the South African delegation, as well as those from Peru and Brazil.

Written by: - 16th November 2005

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