Brandeis Table Tennis is welcoming to both competition and casual players
The Justice interviewed Club Table Tennis and learned about their community.
In 1988, table tennis, also known as Ping-Pong, became an Olympic sport, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. This sport is played on a flat table with two halves divided by a net in the middle. The objective is to hit the ball over the net so that it bounces off the opponent's side of the table in a way that cannot be returned.
Brandeis Table Tennis is one of the various club sports at the university With about six consistent members and 29 members registered, the team is always open to new members with any experience level. In a March 14 interview with the Justice, club president Max Cui-Stein ’22 explained that “New players who have little to no experience should not be afraid to come! Seasoned players don't find it boring to show people the ropes, and we have a coach who comes each week as well.” For instance, when asked about his journey to table tennis at Brandeis, Cui-Stein explained, “I found table tennis by chance. I ended up joining due to the very kind president at the time, Johnson Agyapong '20. I showed up having never truly played before and was extremely intimidated when I saw the members playing. Johnson noticed me sort of timidly standing on the side, and he offered to show me how to play properly. His help was encouraging, and I quickly became obsessed. He was nice enough to give me his old "pro" paddle which is now an object of great sentimental value to me.”
The Brandeis team practices about five days a week, and different levels of competition attend on different days. Some days are mixed between casual and competitive members, allowing those who play casually to become inspired by seeing what they can achieve. “It's a perfect combination of being able to play high level players while also being able to help out newer players. Having that balance is both enjoyable and gratifying,” Cui-Stein explained.
The table tennis team also competes under the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association. The Brandeis team often competes against various other Massachusetts schools like Boston University and Tufts University. In regards to competitions, Cui-Stein explained,that the top two of the tournament division move on to a regional tournament hosted at the Westchester tournament in New York. Winning this tournament secures a spot at Nationals in Las Vegas or Texas.