Ping Pong Produces Popular Club

Kevork Tchakmakjian, Staff Writer

With a growing list of members, the Ping Pong Club’s goal this year is to help newcomers learn how to play and hone their skills while reaching out to even more potential recruits.

Club adviser and PE teacher Chris Walsh said the club began a few years ago with a generous donation from MEF (Moraga Education Foundation) that funded the purchase of 6 “really cool” ping pong tables. Then, former student Maria Wong started the club with approximately 40 original members.

Since then, the club has increased in size, but current co-president Amber Nathanson hopes to reach out to even more people. “One of our goals is hopefully we can expand. We had a lot of members who signed up, but we don’t have a lot of people who show up,” Nathanson said.

Nathanson, who had been eager to become president of the club ever since she came to Campolindo in her sophomore year, wanted to encourage others to join the club so they could be part of the fun.”I’ve been doing [ping pong] for about 10 years, and I did tournaments, and I compete and play every week. I thought it would be nice to teach my friends and many people how to play ping pong,” she said.

Nathanson enjoys the player’ satisfaction when playing ping pong. She said, “There’s usually a lot of competitiveness and joy that goes on when they play. They usually get their friends to play each other.”

Walsh added that ping pong is “very similar to intramural sports of college.”

“When you guys go to college and play intercollegiate sports, one of the most fun things to do is intramural. There is no real practice necessary. It’s fun, kids wanting to play, some kids are good some kids are learning,” Walsh explained.

According to Nathanson, there are a lot of benefits to joining the ping pong club. She joked, “You can beat Ms. Adams in PE, or maybe you can show your mad table tennis skills the next time you’re at a friends house.”

Nathanson believes that many people don’t realize that “it’s actually a hard sport, and it definitely helps with hand-eye coordination, and reflexes.”

The Ping Pong Club has 2 tournaments planned for this year, one in the winter and one in the spring. Co-president Garrett Dunn said, “It’s always exciting. It’s a doubles tournament, and last year we had 60 teams of 2 players, so 120 people in the tournament.”

The club meets every other Thursday at lunch.

Dunn also believes his club offers a stress-free environment and allows everyone to have fun with the sport. “We are just trying to teach them how to work harder to perform better against other opponents,” he said.