How we got here.
The creation of this website and association was only created after 18 years, since 2002, of sharing these ideas with the USATT to run with, and then I finally deciding to move forward months after the current USATT CEO suggested this approach.
In April of 2019, a few within the USATT which one is a current paid USATT staff member, one is a current paid stipend USATT director, and volunteers asked me to please be patient until the new USATT CEO is hired. They said, we support your efforts Michael, and you should definitely contact the new USATT CEO when they come in to present your national grassroots initiative to do either with/on behalf of the USATT; therefore, I slowed down since that’s all I, Michael McFarland, ever wanted to do on behalf of table tennis is to help the USATT & our sport.
My family has been helping the USATT & sport for over 50 years. This is just another free/sponsored personally gift to our sport that all of you may run with.
This is a similar gift (Done for Free) when creating the NCTTA, National Scholarship program where any of our academic athletes may apply to be awarded additional financial support at any of the 200+ NCTTA active Colleges & Universities since 2007. It’s wonderful after creating the scholarship program, finding the funding, and then stepping away from the project years ago that the program still exist. In 2002, my thought was if parents knew there were college scholarship opportunities for their child, it would help/marketing tool to help develop a national grassroots initiative.
I’m looking forward in helping the college scholarship fund grow once again. I hope some of you will come and join the fun!
Like many of you, I just want to see our wonderful sport grow.
You will find within this structure that the organizational structure is truly a members organization.
IT BELONGS TO YOU!
In June of 2019 I started communicating with the New USATT CEO Virginia Sung. Here are some of my thoughts I shared with her.
Since the USATT has limited financial resources, I shared my vision in which you are able to see within this website. At that time I had just put back on this old national hat after being a father during my daughters most formative years; moreover, I also had just rejoined the NCTTA in February of 2019 to continue on what I was working on before she was born, 2008. I became the new NCTTA National Grassroots Committee Chair to help develop table tennis programs in the High schools. I used the site I built in March of 2019 for the National School initiative, http://usatts.org/ , to help share my over all national grassroots initiative to the USATT, so they may have something to actually look at vs just talking.
As you explore this website you will notice it’s a performance base financial incentive approach. I shared with her that any of the great club owners/operators, coaches, tournament directors, program directors, volunteers, etc… may go after grants, sponsors, develop programs, and acquire commercial spaces for training centers for and on behalf of the USATT & their programs.
Meaning if we produced nothing, the USATT loses nothing, and the only compensation paid would be % based on revenue generated by production. That would be the only means of compensation for anyone that means well for our sport on behalf of the USATT. Each person would have to be safe sport certified, have passed a level 2 security clearance, or passed their 50 state background check, and have some history of helping our sport grow beyond competing on the table.
Personally, I believe we need as many feet on the ground working together for our sport, so it’s important to create the proper tools necessary to combat the challenges we have living in such a large country; therefore, creating a national organizational structure, multiple systems, building teams, and developing multiple financials vehicle will help give our sport the tools necessary for its future success.
USATT CEO, Virginia Sung shared the last week of August 2019 with me, that the USATT would rather take a different approach; for example, where the USATT would prefer creating partnerships with table tennis organizations vs doing it on behalf of the USATT . She used the recent example at that time of the new partnership created between the USATT & AYTTO, American Youth Table Tennis Organization.
I shared, are you sure? It’s a national structure for our sport; therefore, after months of consideration on the vision that I have had for the USATT since 2002, and wanting to move forward on this project the incorporation of a new Florida base non-profit organization occurred on January 27, 2020, USTTAA, United States Table Tennis Athletes Association.
My number 1 goal is to provide as many tools as possible to help anyone in our sport promote, grow, and make a living developing this wonderful lifetime sport we all love.
Just as many of you out there, I only want to see our sport grow, and you will see even within this structure that the USTTAA truly belongs to its members. Personally I don’t even have a full individual seat on this new organization’s board when they are elected. I’m just 1 vote of a group of program directors in which our collective votes only represents 1 vote on the board. This association is purely there to serve its members and the National Grassroots initiative to grow our sport.
As many of you may or may not know since 2002 different USATT Board of Directors & staff has had a sample mission statement for future state associations in front of them, and the organizational structure which you see within this website has been shared since 2004 with members of past USATT boards, past staff, & present staff. You will find a copy of the mission statement within the sample State Association Bylaws on the FAQ page
To me it really comes down to what comes first the chicken or the egg, or are we playing chess or checkers. When looking at other successful sports in the United States there’s a consistent theme. They are either managed regionally or at the State level. In some cases they use both. Those NGB, National Govern Bodies, act more in a supportive roll for the regional and state association as their primary focus is the National Team.
I’m 42 now, and all I want to do is help promote our sport. I’m not interested in the never ending politics that seems to plague our sport. I just understand to truly grow the sport there has to be a stronger national structure put in place; therefore, since I’m not getting younger, it’s time just to move forward either with the USATT or sometime in the future with the USATT ideally.
On Janaury 31st, 2020 Virginia Sung Facebook message me back to please send her my plan. I shared I would like to schedule a time to discuss the multiple options together. Her very last response to me: Jan. 31, 2020, Great, thank you so much!
On February 5th. 2020 I Facebook messaged her sharing that I emailed her the link to the website, so she may review the initiative. I saw that she read my message because Facebook has that little face icon that pops up when a message is viewed, but I received zero response. I reached out a few more times to her and to the only two active USATT board members at that time in the month of February with zero response from any of the three.
It has now been 7 months and I have not been contacted by her or anyone on the USATT Board about this one way or another.
Below was my original proposal to the USATT as just a starting point to discuss the positives, negatives, changes, concerns, other possibilities, etc…
Below is the proposed transparent collaborate break down of membership dues to the USATT for the potential partnership with the USATT & USTTAA grassroots partnership initiative. If the USATT agrees to the below or some similar option, USTTAA is proposing the USATT to apply the below disbursement starting the 3rd quarter of 2020 as shared below.
The USTTAA will disburse membership dues to each program once a quarter; for example, Incoming membership 1st quarter January 1st – March 31 will be disburse by April 15th, 2nd quarter April 1st – June 30th will be disburse by July 15th, 3rd quarter July 1st – September 30th will be disburse by October 15th, and 4th quarter October 1st – December 31st will be disburse January 15th.
The quarterly approach is there so that every department/program may create a quarterly budget and to reduce time/labor. If the USATT agrees, funds would be disburse to the USTTAA by the 10th, following the end of the previous quarter, so the USTTAA has it in time to disburse with the above quarter timeline to each of the below line items on the 15th of each quarter.
My door is always open to the USATT Board of Directors to discuss some possible positive collaboration in the future.
Originally within the above options, I took under consideration that the USATT already had many of the administrative parts in place, so I saw no need to do the additional work on those items at that time.
Unfortunately since so much time has passed without any returned communication, I had to create additional administrative tools in which a National Organization needs; therefore, contracts have been signed, payments, and agreements have been made to provide those additional tools to make this grassroots initiative a success. Because of this a couple of the above options are no longer available. I do believe there are many positive options we may still explore together for our sport.
Here’s just one new option out of many different possibility when just looking at the membership dues by line item:
We can bump the membership up an additional $5 person. Where the USATT continues providing the USATT rating & tournament software as a members benefit. That $5 which will go toward the USATT minus $.25 for Credit card processing, and the rest broken down as below toward the National Grassroots Structure/initiative.
There are so many other possibilities beyond the membership dues in which the USATT may benefit from. I look forward in discussing these possibilities to truly give our table tennis community as many tools as possible for the success of our sport.
I want to take this time to thank all of you in the table tennis community for doing what you do for our sport!
I’m looking forward in potentially working with you in the future.
I only show a small piece of what I’ve done in the past below, so you may see a few things I’ve done in the past for our sport.
I’m very good in getting space and free PR. I’ve realized over the years that I have no interest in being at a Table Tennis club every day. I would rather spend my time promoting and growing our sport, but before I do so the proper tools need to be in place first; therefore, after so many years of waiting, I have decided to just create the structure, so we all may have fun growing the sport we love.
I will be reaching out to the TT community to see who would love to run their own club, coach, etc…, so we may help set you up at malls, community centers, private facilities, residential camps, etc… All the administrative tools you need to be successful is now available.