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Table Tennis Tournament 2017

Pingpong challenge cut

And so it was! The tournament of all tournaments! Conceived within a month, inaugurated within two weeks and an outstanding success within the next! The 2017 CPIS Table Tennis Tournament is now history.

It was designed to get students involved in active sports, sportsmanship and participation and away from the endless preoccupation with their electronic and computerized gadgets.

It all started with individuals registering their interest to play. The organizers led by teacher Del, saw to the rest. A frenzy of fledging upstarts sooner began challenging each other. Overnight, many, having scored a trite victory, suddenly began to exhibit player's right, only to be soundly put in their places by another titular fanatic or Johnny-come-lately, 'filled with zeal but not according to knowledge.'

In some cases, there were those just tickled by the sounds; ki-lick, ki-lock, or the traditional trademark sounding term "ping pong". The very bounce of the ball seemed to have had them spell-bound. Then, there were those who like to play; those who know they can play; those who think they can play; those who look like they can play; those who feel they can play and even those who just join the fray, in merely a day! In the end, students, staff and parents all got caught up in the spectacular. The excitement was infectious!

Placed In its proper perspective, however, such was the means of eliminating the pretenders from the potentials. As the game gained in earnest the more talented players emerged. Soon the area was cordoned off into a proper site which accommodated itself to officialdom and professionalism. It was really sad to see some exciting, flashy, up-coming stars fade into oblivion as they were ruthlessly swatted aside by other seasoned young 'professionals'. One by one, administrators, teachers and workers, alike: they, too, had their comeuppance. In quick succession, they were sent packing; back to their task of administrating, business, teaching and selling. Students seemed to 'rule the roost.'
The competition moved from open to knock-out-stage; quarter final, semi-final and to final. The doubles constituted a mixture of male and female partnerships. This category engendered frantic joy. On the average, play was 'fast and furious'. It demanded very quick reaction. Players with skill in spinning the ball altered the trajectory and created problems for many an opponent. It gave tremendous advantage to some players and left many swatting at thin air or in a state of tizzy.

As the competition tightened, morning, as usual, gave way to personal practice and anxious anticipation for the afternoon and after school sessions. Understandably, class suffered little toleration in view of table tennis fever. Lunch, too, seemed to have surrendered its grip on many a starving stomachs. Time was too precious to sit boringly awaiting the seeming archaic process of digestion. Something much desired; something much more urgent; something most important seemed to compete for attention and presence and time.

The final came down to a head-to-head contest between a student-teacher of no mean repute and a promising youngster. He looks everything the part of an upcoming player of remarkable skill and competence. This time, however, while he was not entirely outdone -for he seemed to have defeated himself- the result reveals that he was taught a good sound lesson by the teacher. Nevertheless, with a bit of insightful guidance and coaxing the outcome would certainly have been quite different.

Of the many sporting events occurring around the campus, it was somewhat surprising to see so many students keenly interested in table tennis (TT). They seemed so intent on gingerly volleying or vigorously smashing this innocent, spherical, lightweight, white (sometimes orange neon), celluloid-plastic ball (40mm diameter and 2.7 grams) to smithereens.

Meanwhile, many sat, many stood and watched admiringly. Others dutifully sought to retrieve this pleasant, intriguing looking little ball that, although being smashed out of play, like a playful child, still emitted such delightful, elusive, unstoppable flair for bouncing. In addition, others gave moral support. Then, there were the fanatics; not knowing for sure why they were there, except for the compelling spell of the crowd. While, lurking in the corner leaned an erstwhile figure, seemingly pondering the past glory days of yesteryear. Amazingly though, while it would be easily understood and forgiven to stand forlorn, having rued the chance of hugging the spotlight, many of the vanquished were charming and lighthearted in defeat. For them, the sheer joy of having taken part was enough. Exhilarating! Even fulfilling! And yes! Such is the real essence of which true sportsmanship is made.

Indeed, over the years, table tennis has changed rules, ball and paddle bat (racket) so frequently, it would be much too rigorous to venture an explanation, at this time. All said though, it is a fascinatingly satisfying and relaxing game of sport. In which case, seeing is not just believing but also being in the moment! In the final analysis, a small encouraging cash prize was presented to the winner. On the whole, it was a brief whirlwind tournament of brilliant fun, great candour and keen sportsmanship. Surely, this must not be a-one-of event. Here, at CPIS, table tennis seems to have a future bright. And, CPIS has talent!

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