SBCC Ping Pong Club holds first meeting, all skill levels welcome

Paolo+Pedrigal+hits+the+ball+during+a+game+of+table+tennis+the+Ping+Pong+Club+hosted+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+7%2C+2019%2C+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+Pedrigal+has+been+playing+ping+pong+for+six+months+now.
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SBCC Ping Pong Club holds first meeting, all skill levels welcome

Paolo Pedrigal hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Pedrigal has been playing ping pong for six months now.

Paolo Pedrigal hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Pedrigal has been playing ping pong for six months now.

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle

Paolo Pedrigal hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Pedrigal has been playing ping pong for six months now.

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle

Paolo Pedrigal hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Pedrigal has been playing ping pong for six months now.

Anthony Zapata, Staff Writer

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Students gathered around a ping pong table to play duel’s at the City College’s first Ping Pong Club meeting 1:30 p.m.Thursday, Feb. 7 on the East Campus Cafeteria balcony.

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle
Yurie Murase hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Sara Saib, president of the club, set up a ping pong table to begin the meeting. The meeting was held outside on a breezy sunny day.

Edgar Cortes and Milo Klein, students at City College students who share an interest for the game, said they wanted to play because it had “been a while” and they saw flyers around campus.

Once the meeting was underway, Saib divided the students into teams, and thanked Becky Saffold, the club advisor and administrative assistant to the dean of student affairs, for having donated the ping pong table.

“I’ve always wanted to get a ping pong club for the college,” Saffold said.

As the students took turns playing, onlookers became curious and gathered around, asking to join in on the fun.

Saib’s aim for the club was to bring out ping pong players of all skill levels.

Some students had never touched a ping pong paddle before the meeting, as was the case for student Shan He.  He said because it was her first time playing she watched videos to learn techniques.

Wanjiacheng Huang, a student from China who goes by the name Howard, said he learned how to play the game in his home country and was disappointed that the wind was interfering with the ball.

Another student, Paolo Pedrigal, had other motivations for joining the club.

Arturo Rodriguez, dean of student affairs at City College, hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted outside the main campus cafeteria on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rodriguez will be donating a ping pong table to the club.

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle
Arturo Rodriguez, dean of student affairs at City College, hits the ball during a game of table tennis the Ping Pong Club hosted outside the main campus cafeteria on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rodriguez will be donating a ping pong table to the club.

“I play ping pong with my girlfriend at a UCSB Rec. Center and I need to beat her,” Pedrigal said.

Some students joined the club solely for the social interaction.

“I haven’t done any clubs so this is my first,” said Forest Brent, another club member. Brent said he was glad that he found the Ping Pong Club because now he wants to branch out into other clubs to meet more students on campus.

With only one table and a growing crowd of players, Saffold and Rodriguez discussed how they could raise money to purchase more money.  

“I could donate one of those,” Rodriguez said. “We could order it from Amazon and get it shipped here.”

The current time the club meets is noon Thursdays on the East Campus Cafeteria Balcony, but that is subject to change. Students can follow their facebook page to sign up for the club.

“[Ping pong] is one of the things I can do well… and I want to tell people it’s a sport, not just recreation,” Saib said.

 

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