New sport takes off as club


courtesy of Grant Niestrom

Junior Grant Niestrom practices at the Community House for an upcoming table tennis meet.

Two students are squared off against each other, both clutching at their paddles that they hold tightly in their hand. All that separates them is a table with a small net. The table looks like a tennis court that has been shrunk. There’s a sense of light-hearted competitiveness between the students. It may be just practice, but both students still want to win. The student on the left side of the table tosses up a small, hollow, white ball around six inches in the air and strikes it against the table.

The other player quickly reacts hitting the ball back to him and so on and so on. Until the player that served strikes the ball at a weird angle and it hits the table and bounces off. The other smiles with a small victory, but knows there is still a whole game ahead of them, and grabs the ping pong ball off the ground and slaps it to his opponent. They continue this in an endless cycle until finally someone hits the victorious number of 11 set wins and also wins by two or more.  To be the ultimate winner you have to win three out of five games.

This year, Sachin Advani, junior, and Milan Outarsingh, senior, started a new club that is growing in popularity with many students playing on the team.  Table Tennis also known as “ping pong” has become a surprising popular sport at the school. It has gained major popularity from the sweatshirts that the people on the team wear to the fans who attend the games. The team is not directly affiliated with Hinsdale Central but has been allowed to use the name for their team name. Instead they are sponsored by the company Killerspin, a group that wants to motive kids to get off their phones and interact with other each other more. 

The team holds practices at the Hinsdale Community House with two groups of people that practice at different times.  One member of the ping pong team is junior Grant Niestrom. He views the club as a great thing and is glad that he joined it when he did. “Ping Pong is an easy commitment and is easy to do well in if you practice,” Grant said.

At practices he and his teammates go over the fundamentals of ping pong and scrimmage each other. He has modeled his game after the great Ma Long, a legendary professional ping pong player.

“[Ping pong is growing]; I have a ton of people coming up to me asking if they can join. I think it will grow significantly fast next year when more people hear about it,” Grant said.

The ping pong team is made up of 30 students with varying skill ranges. The team is in the process of facing off against each other in order to create a ranking of the team. Another junior who is on the team is Herbert Wang. “Ping pong should continue as it is a great addition to Hinsdale Central’s clubs, and I feel like our school has great ping-pong players that can fill the seniors’ slots once they leave for college. We also have a freshmen on the team that can inherit the leadership once we leave,” Wang said.

The next tournament is Dec. 7 at the Community House, with more competitions in January.