The NJIT Table Tennis Club is back in action this semester! After the rise of COVID-19, the club was discontinued, but a group of dedicated students were finally able to revive it.
Sahitya Kulkarni, second-year biology major and club vice president, reached out about restarting the club. He got help from one of his friends, Adhithya Rajasekar, club president and sophomore mathematics and biology major, in bringing back the club to “foster a fun, competitive environment for people to play table tennis and enjoy themselves.”
Kulkarni also mentioned that one of the major challenges that they faced was trying to reconcile where the old Table Tennis Club left with their own visions for what the club should entail. “We also needed to find people to become part of the Eboard and find members to demonstrate that there is a strong interest,” he said.
They met Henry Cardona Jr., a senior biology major and the club event coordinator, who is a regular visitor at Campus Center Game Room in the basement. He knew many people interested in joining and helped find the original Discord server for the club.
“The new server I created for the club was littered with people the day I made it!” Cardona said. “Let’s just say that the club wanted to be a club.”
Another part of the logistics that was an issue was where the meetings would take place. Although residence halls have tables that can be used, they wanted to make sure that the tables are equally accessible to commuting students as well. “As of now, we are using the Campus Center tables, but we are interested in buying another table,” Kulkarni said.
The club’s meetings entail free play for all skill levels. It has also held tournaments that introduce the competitive side to gameplay. Members can enter themselves into their respective level of bracket, and each bracket is played out until there is a winner in each one.
The top three players from each bracket receive prizes, unless they are Eboard members. “In this way, we are able to have friendly competition amongst our members, which I love to see!” Kulkarni said. “In future semesters, we plan to take a team of advanced players from NJIT to state-level and national-level competitions. We feel that this will be an excellent experience for our members, who will be able to have fun playing some table tennis while also meeting players from all over the globe.”
The club offers a time for students to destress from daily and weekly academic struggles. It brings together people who share the same interest to spend time with each other and make new connections while playing a fun sport.
“I absolutely love the community that this club has brought together. Everyone in the club wants to get better and encourages others to improve at the sport as well,” Rajasekar mentioned. He is grateful for all the advice he has received from other members to build his playing skills.
“My favorite part about the club is how inclusive of everyone it is,” said Arqam Usman Ali, second-year web and information systems major. “People of all skill levels come to the weekly practice, and everyone is welcomed and gets a chance to play.”
The Table Tennis Club meets Thursdays from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Game Room. Feel free to join its Discord server at https://discord.gg/w5tejbKrCm and its Highlander Hub page at https://njit.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/njitttc.
Voice your opinions