Montagu is 1 of 10 men who met in Germany in January 1926
and set in
motion a series of events that made
table tennis an international sport. In
1926, Montagu initiated the creation of
the International Table Tennis Federation
and served as its first president for
41 years until 1967. The ITTF began
with four member countries and grew
to 160 national associations during his leadership.
The constitution and laws of the
sport of table tennis were adopted and
the World Table Tennis Championships
established during a meeting at the family home of Lord
Swaythling, Montagu’s parents.
At age 18, he was a founder of
the English Table Tennis Association
(ETTA), and served as its chairman from
1923 to 1929, from 1932 to 1933, and
again from 1936 to 1958. He was also the
ETTA’s president from 1927 to 1931 and
1958 to 1966.
The trophy presented annually to
the men’s World Champion table tennis
team bears the name Swaythling Cup—named for Montagu’s
mother, Lady Gladys Goldsmid Montagu Swaythling.
Montagu was the first non-player
elected to the ITTF Hall of Fame.