During the Olympics, we gather behind our television screens, cheering at the top of our lungs and admiring our athletes competing against the world’s best players. Most of us surely have friends representing their schools in reputable competitions, tirelessly juggling their studies with preparations for tournaments. We spectate their matches and cheer them on as they play with their hearts out. When they emerge as victors, we run to them and embrace them as our heroes. When they end up on the losing side, we offer them our shoulders to lean on and words of encouragement, telling them that they can do better. Table tennis is no exception in such scenarios and has even been an avenue for anyone to let their stress bounce right off them (pun intended).
Interestingly, VJC has not had a table tennis team for the past decade. However, as we know, new CCAs can be founded any time – even The Victorian Press was founded by students as a CCA. This year, a group of J1s came together to reform the school’s table tennis team. Most of us know little about the team, especially in terms of why it was introduced into the school’s catalogue of CCAs. To answer those questions, we caught up with the student who revived table tennis in VJC – captain Christian Immanuel Lim of 17S44.
1) Why do you enjoy playing table tennis?
There is always something to improve on in the game such as mastering a new playing strategy or stroke technique. There is always something new to challenge myself with and every game is different due to different competitors and partners so I can’t really get bored of it.
2) Why did you decide to start table tennis in VJC?
I wish to continue doing what I do best and succeed in the competitions involved to make VJC proud. There are a number of students in VS who play table tennis and wanted a CCA that caters to honing their skills in this sport.
3) Did you face any challenges in setting up the CCA?
The lack of DSA students posed a challenge in finding facilities to train as VJC houses many sports CCAs. Eventually, we had to train at VS. Also, members usually had 2 to 3 CCAs so we needed to manage our time well.
4) How often are the school’s training sessions?
5) What do you think is the key to success in the sport?
Personally, success is attributed to numerous factors but having a ‘never say die’ attitude is of utmost importance. Against NJC, our doubles were losing 2–0 but because of their resilience, they managed to pull through with a win of 3–2. It is this attitude that led us to victories against all odds.
We should also note that even though it is their first year in season, they made it to the nationals with their determinate grit. The boys’ season begun with fixtures against TPJC (4–1) and JJC (5–0) and as Christian stated, a marginal 3–2 victory over River Valley High. Victories followed against NJC (4–1) and TPJC (3–2), before a 5–0 thrashing to the hands of NYJC.
Then, the semi-finals rolled around. Despite our boys’ efforts (we lost the second set marginally), we fell to RI (3–0). A 3–1 loss at Nanyang Junior College ranked us 4th nationally. Still, well done boys!
For those of you whose interest in table tennis has been piqued, do give it a shot as a host of benefits is waiting at your doorstep!
Some merits include:
- Being a great workout. Did you know that you can shed a whopping 600 calories if you play table tennis in an hour? Say goodbye to muffin tops and flabbiness, and hello to rock solid abs and trim figures!
- Having the power to boost your cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
- Improving your sense of concentration and hand eye coordination.
- Enhancing your interaction with your peers through the imparting of values such as teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Acting as a platform for budding talents to receive standing ovations by triumphing in competitive events.
Aside from the positives, table tennis has an intriguing history, coupled with other facts that highlight the uniqueness of this sport. For instance, although table tennis was invented in the late 19th Century in England, Chinese players have been dominating this sport for years. Another interesting nugget of information is that there are currently more than 1,500 varieties of rubbers that can be used as the material for the tennis rackets.
To wrap up, you should definitely venture into table tennis if you are keen on equipping yourself with the knowledge of its novel background, and reaping from its advantages.
Liyana Mokhtar Hussein, 16S31
Rachel Lim, 17S31
Danish Uzair, 17S44
Tan Suan Kai, 17S49
Ng Jia Yeong, 17S64