He was the founder of international table tennis federation. The love for table tennis motivated him to donate his personal wealth and sponsor the first ever world championship of table tennis.
The man who attained success in every field he ventured in, be it table tennis, films, politics. He conquered all with dignity and grace.In table tennis world he is famous for being the founder of English table tennis association and being president of ITTF for more than forty years.
His love for ping pong also made him a suspect of espionage in his own country.Britain’s secret agency was very sceptical of his activities and his loud support of a sport which was still in its infancy. He was a supporter of socialism and his brother was against it.USSR even awarded him Lenin peace prize for his works towards socialism.
The Birth of A Champion
Born into one of the top wealthiest family of England, he was the third son of Gladys Helen Rachel Goldsmid.His family was in banking and they had enormous wealth.But he has a different vision.Their family had an inherent wealth and he happens to utilize it to the greatest causes.
During college years at Oxford, he was involved in zoological research and later on he took a keen interest in wildlife conservation.he belonged to the upper-class society but never acted according to its norms.In a way, he was a rebellion in the upper-class society.He played an unconventional game and even popularised it. being a new sport among games like football and cricket, Montague did everything, from framing rules of the game to making associations to provide a formal structure to the functioning of the table tennis in England and the world.
Rebel At Heart
Never did anyone in his family would have imagined of him being a film maker, screen writer, critic writer, sports man, an active socialist member, but he became all of these in his life. He took table tennis from the exclusive clubs of England to the streets of the world, Making it a sports of the common man. Ivor never hid his ambitions and realized his potentials in every field he wanted to work on.
He was one of those earlier writers who wrote books on table tennis.The books are Table Tennis Today (1924) and Table Tennis (1936).He was a multi talented person who excelled in all three pillars of human kind that is Sports, films, and politics.his story of marriage is an interesting one to listen to. He eloped with his wife who was a commoner and this was enough to create havoc in his family.
Nicholas Griffin wrote in his book “Ping-Pong Diplomacy: Ivor Montagu and the Astonishing Story Behind the Game” about the conversation between him and his father.
His father stared at him. “Who is she?”
“Nobody you’d know,” said Montagu, giving a brief description of his bride.