For many college students, the word pingpong evokes the game’s drunken relative: beer pong.
But for Clay Thompson, his love for table tennis started before college and parties.
When he was in seventh grade, his family received a nice gift from Santa Claus: a pingpong table.
“I was really into it for the first three years we had the table,” Thompson, the vice president of the club said. “My brother, dad and I got into more and more competitive matches as we got better.”
Thompson, a senior mechanical engineering major, said he has only played “occasionally” since his high school years but wanted to get back into the game.
So, he did what any logical student at North Dakota State would do. Last week a new club was born, the pingpong club, with the help of Thompson and club president Johnathan Celander.
“We all love the game, and it is a good way to get active,” Celander, a junior mechanical engineering major, said. “The Wellness center set up a table last semester and we were surprised at how many people were using it. Once we noticed that there was no club for this, we felt it was our duty to start the (pingpong club) at NDSU.”
And in just less then two weeks of being alive, the club has 10 members.
Celander and Thompson have much bigger dreams for the club than its quick start.
RIght now the pingpong club is just temporary, and next fall that tag will fall off.
With just one one pingpong table available right now for the club Celander said in the future that one table will turn into multiple.
“To me, the more tables we have means the more games we can get in, which means the more members we will have. And with that, the opportunities are endless,” Celander said. “I would love for this club to be able to compete with other schools, at least within the tri-college area, but hopefully to other schools as well.”
Other NDSU students and faculty create what the club is today.
“Basically we want to get together and play the game that we all love in a competitive atmosphere and have fun,” Celander said. “This semester is really a test to see where the members interests are and find the best way to operate.”
The club is ironing out the details, like where and when they will practice, but intend to meet once a week for about two hours.
Currently 10 members are apart of the pingpong club and Celander and Thompson believe that once the word gets out that there is this type of club is available, the pingpong players will come out of their dorms and houses to compete.
“I believe there are plenty of interested and skilled pingpong players out there,” Thompson said. “We want them to know this club now exists.”
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