Volunteers Boost 2015 Table Tennis National Championships in Wisconsin

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Serving meals to the needy,  building Habitat homes or assisting the Red Cross when disaster strikes, volunteers remain a valuable asset 365 days a year.

The same holds true for dozens of volunteers taking on a variety of tasks at the annual TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The games in Eau Claire, Wisconsin April 10-12 are no different.

Whether the volunteers work as scorekeepers, assist with live video streaming, staff the registration desk, or set up tables, they are always the backbone of a successful table tennis tournament.

A 26-year-old doctoral student in educational psychology at the University of North Texas, Alan Chu volunteered as an umpire at the 2014 TMS championship games in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. He competed as a graduate student for the University of Missouri Tigers team at the 2013 NCTTA tournament in Rockford, Illinois. Alan returns to volunteer duties at the 2015 games.

What’s prompting Chu to help referee the games in Wisconsin? 

It all goes back to his mantra. “Do what you love. Love what you do,’’ is how Alan puts it. “As I love table tennis, I always want to give back and contribute in some way. Being a volunteer is absolutely one of the best ways.’’

He brings plenty of experience to the table. Alan also worked as a volunteer for the U.S. Open and U.S. Nationals sponsored by USATT.

Volunteering provides priceless rewards. “It is always nice to see some table tennis friends there whom I probably meet only once or twice a year at tournaments,’’ Chu said.

A former table tennis star at City University of Hong Kong, Alan will get to see a friend compete in Wisconsin. He and Stephanie Sun were college teammates in Hong Kong. Stephanie today ranks among Duke University’s finest table tennis players.

Alan Chu does more than volunteer. He excels as the table tennis captain at the University of North Texas and who got the squad organized last year. Despite playing in the tough Texas division, UNT advanced to the regionals a few weeks ago. Alan serves as an NCTTA committee member.

In addition, he stays busy as a doctoral student with a sport pedagogy concentration. He tackles research and teaching duties on the UNT campus in Denton. Alan dives into academic projects on physical activity and the health of students, from elementary school through college.

Table tennis and Alan Chu date back two decades. At age four, he started playing the game with his mom at their home. They used a coffee table with stacks of video cassettes serving as the net. He played five sports, including table tennis, track and basketball, in high school. Fast forward a couple of years, and Alan Chu competed in the China National Collegiate Championships.

“Alan is just one good example of the many incredible volunteers helping us each season,’’ says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “Our collegiate players are fantastic, but our tournaments always depend on the support of our wonderful volunteers.’’

For more information on volunteering at the 2015 tournament or year-round on NCTTA committees, go to nctta.org

The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.


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