A grateful heart, believing in the goodness of Tchoukball
This is Chris Huang, FITB President, from Taiwan. Please allow me this last opportunity to express our gratitude for the support from the Taiwanese government, as I will no longer have such opportunity when my term as FITB President ends in a month. Thinking back, in 2009, Chiara, President of Italian Tchoukball Federation, and Norbet, President of Austria Tchoukball Federation visited me in Taiwan, asking me to take on the position of FITB President. Perhaps they had noted my efforts making Tchoukball as part of the 2009 World Games and my achievement in promoting Tchoukball in the past 10 years. I really appreciate their encouragement, everyone’s support and the opportunity. I thus made the most important decision in my life, despite my inadequate proficiency in English. I appreciate everyone’s understanding when miscommunication occurred and am thankful for everyone’s prompt assistance.
I really like Tchoukball. You could probably tell when you learn that I shaved my head and painted a tchoukball on it. My experience is very comprehensive, starting as a player, then a coach, a county and city Director-General, a Chief, the Deputy Secretary-General of ROCTBA, the Secretary-General of APTBF, a member of technical committee (TC) and executive committee (EC), and FITB President. I truly value and appreciate everyone’s support and assistance every step of the way. As busy as a FITB President can be, I have still continued training my Tchoukball teams almost every day in the past 25 years. I really admire the words of Dr. Hermann Brandt that ‘the objective of physical activities is not to make champions but rather to help construct a harmonious society.’ I always like the mutual help from all Tchoukball-playing countries and the sense of peace during the matches. I never lose faith in such a good sport and believe that Tchoukball will develop well. I experimented with different methods of promotion. Through looking into the history of the sport, I learned that the key is to find the right people, and to have strategies, methods and diligence. It must be without selfish desires, as the lack of such makes one firm and uncompromising. People, is the key to everything. Desires and unfairness will only lead to disputes.
When I took over 7 years ago, FITB had no cash, nor data. Step by step, referee and coach systems and exclusive clothing were re-organized, the bidding system for competition organization was established and provided for every country as sample reference, and over 30 Tchoukball souvenirs were designed. In the past 8 years, I have organized 43 official competitions and 123 referee and coach seminars, which averaged out to be 15 seminars and 5 international competitions per year. You are welcome to learn more through the included booklet. Certainly, there are also many unofficial invitational championships, including Switzerland International Invitational Championships and Italy Beach Tchoukball Championships that have been held for over 10 years. With the increasing number of international Tchoukball events, every federation has become a lot busier and more money was spent on competition participation, which at times I had felt bad about. However, in the past 8 year, the number of member nations has doubled, that starting with 22 member nations, we now have 44 member nations this year. We have certainly witnessed the replacement of person-in-charge in 7 nations due to lack of promotional efforts. Solid promotion is the key strategy to make Tchoukball thrive further.
I would like to express my gratitude to those who have been part of the executive committee (EC) over the past few years, contributing their expertise to gradually complete FITB’s system. I would like to thank Pierre (Switzerland) who as part of EC has drafted many items for FITB’s system; Diego (Italy) for his work in building up the referee system; Gernot (Austria) for helping with promotion in Europe; and Kenny (Hong Kong) for helping with promotion in Asia, providing advice for University Championships and budget auditing. I would like to especially thank Chiara, an incumbent EC member and Vice President of Italian Federation, and my only FITB Vice President for 8 years, who has assisted with ISCA and European Tchoukball Federation. I would also like to thank Coach Fang, Secretary-General of ROCTBA, who has travelled to many countries to enhance players’ skills and share his advanced techniques and knowledge; Jeff (Singapore) who has helped facilitate communication in Mandarin and English, and establish FITB referee and coach systems; Julio (Brazil) for his work in the global promotion of Tchoukball, especially in the Americas and Africa; Tino (Macao) who has assisted with the development of East Asia Federation, especially his work in China and preparation for joining SportAccord; Elv (Philippines) for helping with budget issues and the development of East Asia Federation; Silver (Argentina), FITB’s volunteer lawyer, for helping with the federation statutes, the establishment of ethics committee, and the promotion in the Americas; and Richard (UK) for assisting with FITB website and communication, and promotion in Europe. For years, many people have volunteered their time to help establish great history of Tchoukball. Despite occasional disagreements amongst EC members, we all believe that what matters is a better future for Tchoukball. We have established referee and coach systems and wears. During my term and with our assistance, four continental federations have all started to regularly organize competitions.
However, my term as FITB President is not without unfortunate incidents. At last year’s European Cup, gummy bears were thrown and handshake during award presentation was refused. After looking into the reason, it was revealed that some thought that I had refused to homologate European balls, using the power of the president. However, it was truly a wrong accusation. Please allow me to hereby clarify. As my English proficiency is not as good, I, as FITB President, have not amended the homologation fees that were previously approved. However, as the company had refused to pay for homologation fees accordingly, FITB subsequently would not proceed with homologation. However, rumors were perhaps disseminated, taking advantage of my limited English proficiency. Unfortunately, the source has yet to admit, nor apologize. For the past 8 years, all I would like to do is to help our members promote Tchoukball. Despite the amount of assistance provided, I had never recruited support for presidency. I have twice run for presidency with approvals from all countries and without one single objection, perhaps because my efforts have been noticed. I feel truly honored.
During the past 8 years, I have personally volunteered on average 8 hours a day for Tchoukball and have spent almost (TWD$) 5 million dollars. Honestly, it is definitely not an easy task because I also work full-time at school. It has been busy but enriching to witness the development of Tchoukball, and everyone’s enthusiasm about our sport. I am very thankful for the opportunity as FITB president. After retiring from FITB, I will take on the position of Secretary-General for APTBF, and focus on assisting the development in new Asian countries. I will also start working on academic researches about Tchoukball to further promote the sport. My schedule will be freed up even more once I retire from school in 3 years.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all the past and present FITB secretaries, all federation presidents, secretary-generals, executives, coaches, referees, athletes and parents for their participation and provision of resources and assistance. I would especially like to thank my family, for allowing me to completely and willfully throw myself into the promotion and development of Tchoukball. I would also like to thank the Taiwanese government for their tens of millions of support in the past 8 years. It has no doubt been the key to our success. I am incredibly grateful to have all of you as partners. Keep up the good work. The future of Tchoukball is looking promising!