In the course of a meeting held in Basel in 1966 Zarko Dolinar, Hugo Urchetti and G. Wassmer discussed the idea of bringing together former players on the occasion of the World Championships.
Initiated by Zarko Dolinar and Hugo Urchetti the idea took shape during a cocktail party at Mr. Brolin’s home, a friend of Zarko Dolinar, during which it was decided to organise a reunion, again at Mr. Brolin’s residence, inviting all the former players present in Stockholm. Also initiated by Zarko Dolinar and Hugo Urchetti the idea to form a club to help former champions was received with enthusiasm.
The assembled friends agreed from the start that membership should be “by invitation” and open only to players and captains who had taken part in World Championships as representatives of their respective countries. The rule has since been relaxed in a few individual cases but it remains the essential basis for membership. The Swaythling Club International was born at a meeting of 22 former World Championship players held in the home of Brolin in Stockholm on Thursday 20th April 1967 at the time when the 29th World Championships were being held.
The following were present on the 20th April,1967 the date on which the SCI was founded and the first committee formed.
President: Victor Barna (England)
Deputy President: Ichiro Ogimura (Japan)
Secretary: Zarko Dolinar (Croatia)
Treasurer: Hugo Urchetli (Switzerland)
Press Officer: Bengt Grive (Sweden)
Members: Bengt Grive (Sweden), Ivan Andreadis (Czech Republic), Dr. Dieter Mauritz (Germany), Joe Veselsky (Ireland)
Other Founder Members: Guy Amouretti (France), Gosta Brolin (Sweden), Ron Crayden (England), Tage Flisberg (Sweden), Laszlo Földy (Switzerland), Vilmos Harangozo (Serbia), Johnny Leach (England), Richard Miles (United States), Miroslav Prazak (Czech Republic), Mary Reisman (United States), George Roland (Belgium), Jupp Schlaff (Germany), Ferenc Sido (Hungary), Michael Thornhill (England).
Over the years numerous champions have been admitted from all over the world.
“I am sure that our Swaythling Club is a unique organisation in the world of sport. I hope that it will continue to develop and promote which money cannot buy: friendship, health, love, faithfulness, loyalty and tolerance.” Zarko Dolinar, Acting President 1972
The Name of the Club
The group of men who founded the Swaythling Club were former players or team captains, intensely involved in their day with the World Championships men’s team competition, known as the Swaythling Cup.
The Cup was presented by the Dowager Lady Swaythling, mother of the Hon. Ivor Montagu, President of the International Table Tennis Federation from 1926 till 1967. It is, therefore, easy to understand the acceptance of the name “Swaythling” for the Club. To correctly establish its identity from that of the Swaythling Clubs formed in countries throughout the world, the word “International” was added in 1973 when the revised constitution was accepted.