Club rallies tourney thoughts
A few months from now, Bowdoin will be the stage for the Brunswick Open. Or WimBowdoin. Or maybe even the Forrest Gump Open.
Brendan Mackoff '06 and Joe Adu '07 have not yet decided which one of those choices, suggested by club member and comedian Hari Kondabolu '04, will be the title of their tournament. But they do know that their first table tennis tournament, while smaller than the All- Englands in both size and sport, will attract a lot of attention this coming spring.
"There's a lot of interest," Mackoff said. "People want to just show up and play."
Mackoff chartered the table-tennis club late last year. He is currently the president, and Adu serves as vice-president.
"At the activities fair over 70 people signed up," Mackoff said. Currently, he estimates that about 20 to 30 people are truly interested in participating.
So far, there have been meetings but no official tournaments, and members play together on their own time. However, the club will soon be eligible for funding and has its own mailing list.
Mackoff is pleased by the small strides the club has made since it was chartered. The College replaced the table-tennis table in Smith Union last fall. "The old one was not playable," Mackoff said. "That's part of the reason I started the club."
When Mackoff realized that there was not enough room between the table and the walls, the club requested that the table be moved. "Some people had some spirited play and were hitting the walls," Mackoff said. Now, the table stands where the air hockey table used to be, and there is more space on both the left and the right sides.
Thanks to these changes, the club is ready to start planning tournaments. It will not receive funding until it can demonstrate interest, but it still hopes to hold three or four tournaments this spring. Likely to be held on Saturdays, the tournaments are open to all students who enjoy table tennis.
"Everybody who plays table tennis really loves the sport," Adu said. "I think the campus will embrace the club well."
Adu is also hoping that people in the Brunswick community with table tennis equipment might like to donate to the club. Right now, the only known table on campus is the one in Smith Union.
The club is still looking for people who want to play, plan, or just be on the mailing list for future events. Players are likely to have a wide range of experience.
"[Mackoff] has table tennis in his blood," Adu said. Mackoff's father played table tennis at the national level while in high school, and while Mackoff admits he does not play at the same caliber, he is known for his signature spinning hits.
One upcoming tournament is likely to kick off with a celebrity match starring College president Barry Mills. "President Mills said he will play an exhibition match to open up one of the tournaments," Mackoff said. The organizers are currently trying to decide on a surprise opponent.
However, the organizers stress that the club is not all about tournaments or competition.
"Everybody just wants to play and have fun," Adu said.
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