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Spring competition is in full swing as teams look to punch their tickets to the 2011 Championships. And we've got all the details on 2011 Champs volunteer opportunities, a new tournament fundraiser concept, a profile of a notable NCTTA alum, plus the 2012 Championships bids.
Read on for all this and more ...
Volunteers Needed for 2011 National Championships
By Andy Kanengiser, Media Relations Chair
Armies of volunteers are needed at the best collegiate table tennis event in North America! And now is the time to step forward if you want to assist as an umpire, work at an information desk, help set up equipment or take on a variety of tasks in Rochester, Minnesota, April 15-17.
At NCTTA headquarters, we always say that the success of our Championships depends on the hard work of our volunteers. Trust us. We mean it. There are plenty of opportunities out there for people with skills in hospitality, media, transportation, or simply being there at the registration desk with a smile on your face.
Granted, the pay isn’t terrific. But there are some perks that go with the job. For instance, there are free tournament shirts going to all volunteers. We also take care of the cost of going to NCTTA’s fabulous awards banquet Saturday night. There’s more. We go all out to make sure your meals are taken care of and do our best on a limited budget to ease lodging costs.
So if you want to meet some of the finest people on the planet, do some of the important behind-the scenes activities at North America’s premier collegiate table tennis event, give us a buzz. Please fill out the volunteer form on the Championships website and tell us what assignments you have in mind. We salute the work of our volunteers from years past, and welcome new ones to our team in Minnesota!
New Beginnings for a New NCTTA School
Southern Miss., West Florida, Florida State, and Alabama-Montgomery came together for some “new beginnings” as LA Johnston and the Pensacola Table Tennis club debuted a new table tennis tournament concept on January 15th. Held at the Fricker Community Center in Pensacola, Florida, the zero-star tournament served as a fundraiser for the new Montgomery Table Tennis Club.
The brainchild of Pensacola Club leader, LA Johnston, the New Beginnings Sponsorship Tournaments aim to help new table tennis clubs by hosting fundraiser tournaments at better established clubs in the area. Attracting 33 participants from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, the tournament also had an appearance from NCTTA sponsor, Newgy Industries who donated a 2040 Robot!
The Montgomery Club will be sharing its space with the University of Alabama-Montgomery and expects to purchase 3 new tables from the tournament proceeds. With the additional tables they hope to soon start hosting their own sanctioned tournaments.
Acquiring several quality tables is one of the biggest challenges facing new clubs, Johnston observes. And without tournament revenues, clubs can struggle to grow and become self sufficient. Johnston hopes to continue the movement with other clubs around the country. Which means that pretty soon, we may see a lot more table tennis clubs with some new beginnings.
Lindenwood Captures Lower Midwest Division
By Andy Kanengiser, Media Relations Chair
By now, just about everybody on the planet knows the Green Bay Packers edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV. The margin of victory wasn’t nearly as close as table tennis powerhouse Lindenwood rolled to their second straight Lower Midwest Division title.
There were no Cheeseheads in the stands, and the action on the Missouri campus was really a big-time table tennis blowout on February 6th. Coached by Randy Kendle, Lindenwood’s 2nd-ranked coed team went undefeated (4-0), not dropping a singles match along the way. In fact, over the entire season, Lindenwood is a mighty 40-0 in singles matches. Expect the team from Missouri to make a run at the 2011 Championships in Rochester, Minnesota this April.Illinois finished division competition in 2nd place, their only losses coming at the hands of Lindenwood. Other teams competing included Saint Louis, Southern Illinois, and Washington-St. Louis.
NCTTA Alum Profiled in Toastmasters Magazine
By Nancy Chen, Media Relations Committee
Former Texas Wesleyan team member and NCTTA board member Mike Meier was one of five profiled in the October 2010 edition of Toastmasters Magazine. Focusing on individuals who apply public speaking skills to sports, the article highlighted the use of Meier’s skills to excel at table tennis umpiring.
Boasting more than 260,000 members across 113 nations, Toastmasters International, is one of the leading organizations dedicated to advancing oral communication. Meier is a member of both the Texas Wesleyan Spellbinders and the Seoul Advanced Toastmasters Club.
When Meier started in Toastmasters hoping to become a better public speaker, he never anticipated how it would help him as a table tennis umpire. “Without all of the impromptu speaking training the past five years, maybe I would have cracked, said something stupid, or made a situation worse,” says Meier in reference to being faced with challenging situations on the court.
Even more importantly, Meier says that his speaking experience has given him an opportunity to help others, observing that “Toastmasters is a great place to help build up others and help them improve.”Meier’s abilities in speaking and table tennis have certainly played a strong role in his post-college life. He has traveled and umpired, been the announcer at the College Table Tennis Championships, and served on the NCTTA Executive Board. He currently sits on the NCTTA Audit, Coaching, and Disabled Athlete Committees.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Newgy and Killerspin!
NCTTA, would like to thank Killerspin for its support of college table tennis. Killerspin is the exclusive NCTTA League and Championship Equipment sponsor through 2011. Member schools just need to fill out the Killerspin Premium Membership Program Application to receive phenomenal discounts. Browse all your favorite Killerspin equipment in the online Killerspin store.
Also, special thanks to NEWGY Industries, for its continued support of college table tennis. Newgy offers a great way to fundraise for your club and help out our sponsor as well by signing up and participating in their Newgy Robo Pong Affiliate Program.
Got an idea for a future story or newsletter topic? Email the NCTTA Media Relations Chair.
West Florida Player Scores Upset
By Andy Kanengiser, Media Relations Chair
NCTTA’s Dixie Division was abuzz when Kyle Angeles of West Florida played his best game and upset top-notch Mississippi College player Zhicheng “Johnson” Liang in Dixie Division competition last fall. The games were all close, but Angeles played solid defense and his offensive display was strong too, as he went on to win 3-1.
Angeles, a 20-year-old information technology major at UWF, was familiar with Johnson’s game. He watched him battle Florida State star Andres Ng at an earlier tournament in his hometown of Pensacola. Angeles says his game has received a great boost from two coaches, Dr. Ronald Peters (a.k.a Dr. Chop) and Kil Yim. They helped him with spins, serves and pips.
Angeles, who is the vice president of the UWF Table Tennis Club, definitely brought his A-game to Clinton, Mississippi in October. He was undefeated at the regional tourney in the Magnolia State.Will he defeat a much higher rated opponent like Johnson again? Time will tell. UWF, Alabama, Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama-Huntsville and Mississippi College will be in action again when Dixie Division competition resumes at MC’s Baptist Healthplex February 19.
Five Cities Seek 2012 Championships
Two cities in North Carolina are in a battle with a New York bidder, one from Tennessee and another from North Texas. What is at stake? Just the right to host the 2012 College Table Tennis Championships. NCTTA leaders, players and coaches will be sizing up the five proposals in February as we search for the best site in America to welcome our games in April 2012.
We’re talking about proposals coming in from Asheville and Winston-Salem, the two North Carolina competitors, and others from Syracuse, NY, Memphis, TN and Denton, TX. The plans from the five cities are posted on the NCTTA website with tons of details about venues, hotels, transportation, attractions, seating capacity, and much more.
Not familiar with the 7,000-seat War Memorial Arena in Syracuse? That 34,500-square foot arena is also home to the Syracuse Crunch, an American Hockey League team. Meanwhile, the Winston-Salem Entertainment Sports Complex Annex seats about 3,500 fans. Winston-Salem, by the way, hosts the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference basketball championships in 2011.
If you want beautiful mountains, lots of history, plus a wealth of culture and attractive sports venues, take a look at Asheville, North Carolina. The city for generations has been a part of America’s minor league baseball scene. The North Carolina oasis is home to the University of North Carolina-Asheville and a mega mansion built for the Vanderbilt family.
What about Denton, Texas? The Denton Sports Commission is working with the University of North Texas and Lewisville CVB to come up with a proposal that aims to please. Located just north of Dallas, Denton has hosted USA gymnastics collegiate championships, junior golf association tournaments and many other things over the past decade.
When you think of Memphis, you may think Elvis, blues joints along Beale Street, and delicious barbecue. But the city is also a pretty fine sports town, home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. The Memphis Cook Convention Center is the proposed venue for the 2012 Champs.
So thanks to Winston-Salem, Asheville, Syracuse, Memphis and Denton for submitting their plans. We know that whichever city hosts the 2012 championships will experience collegiate table tennis at its finest!
NCTTA Newsletter - February 2011
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