Activity Fair creates unprecedented interest in Ping Pong Club
From above the auditorium stairs, shouts of victory are underpinned by the rhythmic rebounds of plastic balls bouncing to and from wooden paddles. The commotion and clamor is unusually loud for a Wednesday evening after school. Even more surprising is the massive throng of students crowding around ping pong tables, stretching across the entire second-floor hallway in front of the auditorium.
Following Conant’s activity fair on August 27, Ping Pong Club sponsor Caleb Cochrum was shocked by the number of students that had signed up at his table.
Cochrum said that when he posted the single page sign up sheet, he anticipated that only around thirty students would sign up. When he returned at the end of the day, however, he found approximately five times that. In fact, the sign up sheet had run out of slots, so a student had donated a spiral notebook for others to put down their names. Cochrum estimates that approximately 150 students had signed up for Ping Pong Club that day.
Cochrum attributes the unprecedented turn out to a chain reaction of curiosity. “Often when a few students get excited, it’s infectious and they get all their friends to sign up,” he said.
Yash Thakker, ‘23, one of the club’s student leaders, expressed excitement for the future of Ping Pong Club. “There were not this many people last year,” Thakker said. “So it was a very big surprise and was very exciting to see how many students came to our first meeting. It’s great to see freshmen and sophomores get excited and exposed to clubs this year, which is something they definitely missed out on last year.”
Cochrum views ping pong as more than an entertaining activity, but also a chance for students to forge bonds with each other. “Ping pong is an amazing opportunity to engage in an almost athletic sport that’s accessible to everyone,” Cochrum said. The collaborative nature of ping pong “allows for you to communicate with others and build relationships while having fun,” Cochrum said.
The club will be selling chocolates in the coming months to raise money for more equipment. Thakker said that the club currently has four ping pong tables, although they are hoping to fundraise enough money to replace two of them and buy more tables to increase playing time for members.
The club meets every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. outside the auditorium on the second floor. Students interested in joining should contact club sponsors Caleb Cochrum at [email protected] or Jordan Catapano at [email protected].
Ash Chang contributed to this story.