Diversity in College Table Tennis--A True Melting Pot
Pictured above are members of the Hofstra Table Tennis team Tanzim Bhuiya, Daniel Zhu and Columbia's Neha Aggarwal
USA has been called a “melting pot” which is a metaphor for all kinds of different elements coming together. This country has been built on immigration and this isn’t a political piece of any nature, but to illustrate the amazing reality of College Table Tennis and its diverse participants and fans and how the sport brings us all together through a common theme.
258 Athletes representing over 30 countries across the globe including China, Canada, India, Bosnia, Brazil and everywhere in between. No other tournament in the United States can claim such a diverse international presence!
Let’s talk about some of our diversity in College Table Tennis!
Ali Javaheri is a Biochemistry Pre Med student at SUNY Stonybrook in New York and is the lone representative of his school. Javaheri was born in the United Kingdom and lived in several countries in Europe before making New York his home. Javaheri speaks about his experience in College Table Tennis.
“I am both surprised and happy that I see the level of the game in the USA. I feel on a good day I can beat some good players and would like to do my best in the upcoming tournament and am of course proud to represent Stony Brook.” Javaheri discovered NCTTA officials after playing at the Joola DC teams tournament in November and since then has made his way through NCTTA divisional and regional qualifications to these Championships.
Roger Rao is of Asian descent but raised in New Zealand where he quickly became one of the country’s star players at the tender age of 13! Rao is a freshmen now at Duke University and is leading the Duke Blue Devils with an unprecedented 26 and 1 record and the Kiwi international looks to do damage! Rao is 21st seed in Men's singles out of 80 participants and many may pick him to go far in the tournament.
On the women’s side we speak with Neha Aggarwal, who represented India in International competition for 15 years and now is representing Columbia University. Aggarwal talks about her international experience and the cultural fusion that exists in our sport, “In 2005, I was part of the Asian team for the World Cadet Challenge where my team consisted of players from Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. My doubles partner was from Korea and we won the gold. Ever since then I have appreciated how sport breaks all barriers and brings communities together.”
College Table Tennis didn’t miss the mark here either as she adds, “Even at Columbia, our team is well diverse which is amazing. I also know a few Indians that will be taking part in the Nationals. I hope to meet other fellow players in Texas and enjoy the game we all love so much. “
This is a true melting pot in every sense of the word where English may not be the most common language spoken but instead loop, spin and forehand seem to be the vernacular of choice for these athletes.
Come join our special melting pot in Round Rock, Texas March 25-27th!
The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by TMS International, Gerflor, Double Fish, and Joola.
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday March 25th and continues through Sunday March 27th at the Round Rock Sports Center
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org