Club Spotlight: Ping Pong serves up new enrichment opportunities

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Amnesty…Key Club…Red Cross…and…Ping Pong?

Yes, you read that correctly. For the first time, ping pong is part of the enrichment schedule.

Although ping pong seems like an odd activity compared to the more traditional activities THHS has to offer, it is actually very popular.

The ping pong club, which has about forty members, was founded by sophomore Michael Berchansky. He came up with the idea during the second half of his freshman year.

“I heard about other people starting clubs and I enjoyed playing ping pong, so I thought this was a great interest I could bring to the school,” Michael said.

During meetings, paired members play alternating five-to-ten minute ping pong matches based on skill. In between matches, they watch and socialize among themselves. However, one doesn’t need ping pong expertise to join.

“The purpose of the club is to have fun and improve your ping pong skills. It is also said that ping pong is a good way to relieve stress,” said Michael.

Vice president, sophomore Christina Marshall, agrees: “It allows students who may not exactly be athletically inclined to partake in a fun sport in which they get to relax and hang out with friends.”

“You don’t need to be good at ping pong to make new friends,” adds member Christopher E, also a sophomore.

Despite its popularity, the club faces obstacles.

“As I came up with the idea for this club, I thought: ping pong is pretty popular. I wonder why we didn’t already have this club? I later found out that the answer to this question was because of money,” Michael said.

The club would like at least three ping pong tables for its many members. However, new clubs don’t get funding until their second year and each table can cost between 200 to 1000 dollars.

Fundraising effectively solved this issue. During last month’s parent-teacher conferences, the club held two bake sales that raised about 100 dollars each, allowing them to buy their first table. They have one other table donated from a ping pong organization called SPiN Galactic, and plan to hold more fundraisers throughout the year.

Although in the past a student once tried to start a ping pong club without result, this time, the club is having greater success.

“I’m really happy I’m getting so much support from everyone,” said Michael.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said sophomore Russell Katz. “I look forward to versing other people and helping them get better and having a good time overall.”

“I recommend the club because you meet new people and make new friends, sharpen up ping pong skills, and just have a good time,” said Christopher.

The ping pong club has bigger (albeit tentative) plans for the future. Although the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) does not include ping pong as a sport, the two club leaders hope to eventually face other high schools unofficially.

The ping pong club, supervised by Spanish teacher Christian Castillo, meets on Thursdays in room 136.