The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has appointed Steve Dainton as Chief Executive and Raul Calin as Secretary General.

Australian Dainton, 39, has been the Acting CEO for the past two months, while 45-year-old Calin, from Spain, has been serving as the ITTF Director of Operations.

Dainton started playing table tennis as a child and rose through the ranks as a junior player, but turned his attention to coaching at a young age, where he produced several Australian national junior players. Most of which was achieved whilst studying Marketing and International Studies at university where he learnt to speak and write Chinese.

He took up his first ITTF position in 2002 as the ITTF Oceania Development Officer and went on to become director of the ITTF-Asia Pacific office and later ITTF Marketing Director.

Dainton said:

It’s the right time for the ITTF to realise its true commercial potential and modernise itself to ensure that table tennis cements itself as one of the leading sports globally at all levels.

I am looking forward to helping to ensure this and to especially assist in growing the table tennis industry to new levels, meaning not only more people playing table tennis, but also more people actively engaged.

If we get it right this will ensure the true stars, the athletes, will be better recognised and rewarded.

Calin has been appointed in a newly created Secretary General position and will continue to be based in Lausanne.

He has been playing, coaching and administrating table tennis since 1991 with his proudest moment being coaching the Spanish team to one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 2000 Paralympics. He joined the ITTF in 2004 as a Competition Manager.

He said:

I am looking to help build ITTF into a modern organisation, with transparency in all levels of management, with ambition and clear goals.

ITTF should look for excellence in all areas, an institution in which national associations interact actively with the ITTF management for the benefit of our athletes and fans.

Let’s work towards excellence in our sport events, let’s have ambition, let’s make an ITTF everyone is proud of.

On the appointments, ITTF President Thomas Weikert said:

Both Steve and Raul have both been extremely loyal to the ITTF over their many years of service, and have been instrumental to the growth of the ITTF over recent years.

The ITTF Executive Committee and I have complete trust in both of them to excel in their new positions and guide the ITTF to a new fruitful era.