By Brent Hearn
Like any sport, table tennis has its share of numbers. Stats...rankings....ratings...seedings...they all have their place in our sport.
That said, the numbers aren’t what drive us want to play table tennis. The stats aren’t what make us want to watch two (or four—we’ve got your back, doubles players) athletes dig deep and battle for domination. The rankings and seedings, while they most certainly have their place, aren’t what foster new friendships at an event like Nationals.
In short, it’s the people.
With that in mind, we’ll be doing a series throughout the weekend that focuses specifically on the people who are doing their part to make this year’s event special. Players, coaches, spectators, volunteers—everyone who is a piece in the puzzle at this year’s Championships.
You may be asking yourself, "How do you decide whom to write about?" Well, we use a complicated algorithm that takes into account age, gender, school location, subject's proximity to the media area...
I'm totally kidding. I just walk around the arena and ask someone to talk to me.
Call it the Forrest Gump interview approach: You never know what you're gonna get. It's fun! It's informative! It's irresponsibly unpredictable! And now, without further ado, let's meet our very first Random Round Rocker!
What’s your name?
Where are you from?
What’s your role at the Championships?
I’m helping to coordinate between the umpires and the control desk.
Do you play?
I used to, but not any more.
When you did play, what was your best shot?
I never played a lot—just more recreational.
How many times have you been to Nationals?
What are your thoughts on the tournament thus far?
It looks like it’s running on time. The venue’s great. Everybody seems to be ready to play.
What’s your favorite thing about table tennis?
I love that it’s so multi-generational and that you don’t have all the barriers that a lot of the sports have. (It’s inclusive to) females...children...that’s the part of table tennis I love.
If you could pick any celebrity to play table tennis with, who would it be?
(laughs) I’m so bad, I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself!
What’s something interesting about you that would fascinate the table tennis world?
I’m the only one married to Ed Hogshead.
Hear that, ladies? Mr. Hogshead is spoken for, so don’t even think about it. Thanks so much to Diana for taking the time to speak to us. And a big shout-out to all of the volunteers who are working hard behind the scenes to make these Championships run smoothly!
Who will be our next Random Round Rocker? Keep checking back to find out!
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