By Salenna Weiner ‘18
In interest of full disclosure, Salenna Weiner ’18 is part of ping-pong club.
A great club to attend if you have an interest in table tennis is the ping-pong club. The club meets every Tuesday during period 9 under the advisory of Mr. Albert Peterson.
“The club is a nice way to hang out with friends after classes and relieve stress after a hard day at school,” said Justin Jiang ‘18 who joined the club in November.
The club has been around for several years, always consisting of many members from different grade levels. The club consists of students who have different range in skills. While some have been playing for years, others have never picked up a paddle before and are trying it out for the first time.
“Everyone can relax after their classes just by playing and being in a warm and friendly environment,” said Ella Redmond ‘19 who recently joined the club.
Each time students attend, they practice more and, with the help of other experienced group members, get better; so the club welcomes all students no matter what skill level.
“Since so many students stress out over school, and the amount of workload they have, we try to relieve ourselves from it here at the club,” said Savlatjon Rahmatulloev ‘18, who became president of the club in the beginning of the school year.
Currently, the club is facing some difficulties. Most of the equipment they use is either old or broken; most paddles are usually missing a side and the tables are missing a few bolts and screws.
“The lack of equipment is definitely a problem that limits the things we do during the meetings,” stated Rahmatulloev.
Recently one of the tables broke down completely and the club is no longer capable of using it. They are left with one table and have to figure out how to share it among the 25 members of the club.
“We make sure everyone has a chance to play ping pong,” said Rahmatulloev, “sometimes we have competitions and other times we just play for fun.”
Students take turns with the table, playing short practice games in pairs or singles. Once the President and Vice President have made sure that every member gets a chance to play at least once, everyone can use the table freely and compete with others; they agree on how long they’re going to play with the people who want to go next.
This system and the lack of more tables do not extremely bother the loyal members of the club. Of course they would prefer more equipment, but they have found other ways to manage. Students create unique games and exercises surrounding ping-pong without using a table. One thing the club members do is form circles where they toss around the ball using their paddle, which helps them practice with aim and develop their skill. Conveniently, in this way members with more skill can teach students who are just starting out the ropes of the game and how everything works. It is also a good way to meet other people and socialize with them in between games.
“My favorite moments come when we are actually waiting for a game to play, so in the meantime we get to share our common interests and expand on those ideas, building a stronger community within the club,” said Jiang, “It’s more than a club, it’s like a family.”
The club is trying to raise money to buy a new ping-pong table but they’ve had a few roadblocks. Fundraisers are difficult to arrange with the school because there are many things you can’t do or sell and most of the bake sales for each month have already been planned by other clubs. The timing of it all also sets them back.
“Due to long breaks and almost the end of the semester, a plan for a fundraiser has been constantly delayed,” Rahmatulloev stated. “Hopefully we’ll start raising money when the time is right,” he added.
Other members agree the club will definitely benefit from a little funding, even if it is small, so they can continue the club now and future generations of hornets can enjoy it as well.