Table Tennis Club kickstarts legacy with all-day tournament


Nayeon Ryu

Eyes focused on the ping pong ball, junior Ali-Raza Rizvi serves to his opponents. Before the first official meeting of Table Tennis Club, Rizvi met up with club co-founder and junior Skyler Ji to play for fun. “Ping pong is a sport of precision and accuracy; I thought this describes me perfectly,” Rizvi said. “This club provides a fun environment where everyone can enjoy playing competitively and recreationally.”

With a crew of 60 trailing behind in support, Table Tennis Club co-founders and juniors Skyler Ji and Justin Xu kickstart their club by initializing a community-wide table tennis tournament. 

The first Table Tennis Fall Classic is being held in the main gym Saturday, Oct. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $5 in club sponsor and math teacher Patrick Troy’s room.

“We wanted to create a fun event for current members and other students in the school. We planned it to be on the Saturday of the four day weekend since it’s like a little break from school,” Xu said. “We thought players would enjoy playing some ping pong over that weekend.”

Doors open at noon for participants to warm up and get split into groups of six. One winner from each level—novice or advanced—will win scholarship money from a portion of the funds that were raised prior to the tournament.

“Because our club is free for everyone without membership fees, we need to gather the prize money from another source. We received some help from the Economics Club since many of our members are in both clubs,” Xu said. 

The funds raised from the tournament will also help raise money for both clubs to further their involvement in the school. Members plan to dedicate future tournaments to a charitable organization.

“Since there are two clubs that are working together, we have to negotiate with each other a lot. We set executive board positions and delegated smaller committees to specific jobs,” tournament manager and junior Maaz Khan said. “It’s important that everyone does their job, otherwise the tournament will not go according to plan.”

Table Tennis Club initially faced issues organizing the tournament, but they were able to jump over the net.

“This is our first tournament, so we’re not very experienced. It took many meetings to figure out the small details, like what day the tournament will be and getting it confirmed with the volleyball coaches to rent out the main gym,” Ji said. “We also had to find a sponsor who would stay with us for the whole day which is hard; they probably want to do other things, but Mr. Troy and [math teacher Chris] Johnson thankfully agreed.”

Ji and Xu started Table Tennis Club after hearing ping pong as a popular topic in conversations.

“Many people around me talk about ping pong and how good they are. We wanted to host a tournament we could stand out with, so we chose ping pong because it hasn’t been done before,” Khan said. “Having this tournament is a nice way to have a sense of community bonding between both clubs and also be able to invite other members of the community to come play with us.”

Regardless of age or affiliation with the school, Ji, Xu and Khan encourage the community to “pop out” to the tournament.

“Bring your friends and family. Do it for fun; do it to win; do it to bring glory to your family name,” Ji said.