Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 18, 2014: IOC Sport Hope Centre, The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is pleased to have contributed to the opening of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport for Hope Centre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The Sport for Hope Centre was officially opened this week by the President of the IOC Thomas Bach, in the presence of Republic of Haiti President Michel Martelly and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Straight after the terrible earthquake that hit the country four years ago, the Olympic Movement, through the National Olympic Committee of Haiti, committed itself to providing aid to rebuild Haiti’s sporting infrastructure as part of the nation’s reconstruction process.
The Sport for Hope Centre features modern sporting facilities and will offer a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities aimed at rebuilding local communities, promoting social values and giving Haiti’s citizens a better future.
The ITTF contributed to the Sport for Hope Centre by donating six table tennis tables, 70 surrounds and 1200 balls to ensure that the Haitians have direct access to playing table tennis.
In addition to assisting with the setting up the Sport for Hope Centre, the ITTF has been supporting Haiti for a long time, especially after the earthquake with around a quarter of a million dollars of in-kind and cash donations, as well as an extended “Developing a National Sports Structure” course over multiple months.
The ITTF Deputy CEO Glenn Tepper, responsible for Development & Education, stated: “ITTF has been a strong supporter of Haiti with ITTF Development Program Courses and Equipment Assistance dating back to 2003. This took a quantum leap following the 2010 earthquake with over a quarter of a million dollars in “in-kind” and financial support as well as many courses, the last being just 5 months ago.“
“The Sport for Hope Centre was then a natural extension of that support, with ITTF providing all table tennis equipment required, as well as educating the person-in-charge of table tennis Vladimyr Mathieu. I have made a commitment to personally visit the new centre in October to see the progress first-hand and discuss future options for support”
The Centre, built at a cost of USD 18 million, was a joint initiative between the IOC and its key stakeholders, together with the Haitian Government. It comes just weeks after the signing of a historic agreement between the IOC and UN, aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two organisations in projects designed to contribute to a better and more peaceful world through sport.
The multipurpose complex is located on land donated by the Government of Haiti. It features two large indoor practice halls, an indoor competition hall with a spectator capacity of 2,500, and a number of outdoor courts and pitches. —- ITTF/Photo credit: IOC/Hector Retamal
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