Ping pong club provides relaxed community, friendly competition


Amira McKee

Under the fluorescent lights of the math wing tunnel, students mill around four tables. The roar of their laughter and exclamations echoing through the hall as they commence the fourth Ping Pong Club meeting of the year, Dec. 3. Each blue folding table, set with two or four players eagerly swatting, creates a hollow plinking noise as each ball ricocheted off the plastic.

Sophomore Akhil Elangovan, co-founder of Ping Pong Club, said the club was created to be fun rather than especially competitive. 

“I always played ping pong with my brother and stuff. It was really fun, and so I was like, ‘Maybe I should try this at school.’” Elangovan said. “So I was like, ‘Okay, we can use those to play.’”

Freshman Julia Baguio, a participant and player said since the club’s founding, it has fostered an opportunity for relaxed competition.

“It’s not really stressful,” Baguio said. “It’s kind of fun, like everyone’s smiling, and everyone seems to have a good time.”

There were so many players attending the last meeting that several had to lean against the walls to avoid being hit by incoming serves while waiting for their turn. Elangovan, however, said the group wasn’t always this large. 

 “Me and my friends started picking [ping pong] up, and it was this year that we told our friend group, and then it just spread,” Elangovan said. “Now, we have to get some more tables so we can actually expand our club a little bit more because right now it’s pretty crowded.”

Despite the limited space and materials, junior Philip Lei said he enjoys participating in the club because it provides an outlet to release the anxiety of school and academics.

“Most of [the members] are high-achievers, I guess. I think it’s more just a stress reliever, and that’s why it was formed,” Lei said. “It’s not an activity where you go out and compete. You can just relax in the tunnels and that’s it.”

The club will continue to host meetings, hoping to gain more resources and members. Baguio said she encourages other students to join the group, regardless of skill level.

“It seems pretty fun, and people, beginners to advanced, can all join,” Baguio said. “It’s a welcoming atmosphere.”

Have you played ping pong? Let us know in the comments below.