Table tennis: The missing piece of college sport

Jade Dune, a video production student at Durham College, expresses her disappointment over the lack of recognition for table tennis as a competitive sport. Dune is roommates with a semi-professional table tennis player from India. Photo credit: Ganga Rajesh

Table tennis enthusiasts at Durham College are disappointed that the sport is not recognized as a competitive sport despite its popularity worldwide.

According to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), most colleges and universities in Canada do not recognize table tennis as a competitive sport as most of the students consider it as a leisure activity rather than a competitive sport.

Many students are disappointed, as they believe that they should have the choice to choose the sport they like.

Rameesha Fasal, a table tennis player and a student at Durham College, says table tennis is a sport to do.

“There are people who play it competitively, so, I would say that it should be an option to have for people who would like to play like as in a team with the school and play competitively against other schools,” Fasal said.

Studies published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation in 2019 found that playing Table Tennis or Ping-Pong as it is commonly referred to, improves hand-eye coordination, balance, and flexibility in elderly individuals.

According to Durham College’s director of athletics, Ken Babcock, table tennis is a popular sport on campus despite not being a competitive sport. He said the college provides the students with the best sports facilities available to play the sport.

“We have many people play table tennis. Our activity days are full. We have invested in the best table tennis equipment that is durable and top-of-the-line. The pros play on it and we are committed to it,” Babcock said.

He said the possibility of table tennis becoming a competitive sport and even reaching the varsity level remains open if an increased number of students from Durham College, and other colleges show interest in the sport.

According to Aleesha Dave, table tennis is an inexpensive game, making it accessible to all age groups, and provides solace to elderly people to keep them fit and energetic.

Durham College has many international students from around the world, where table tennis is recognized and played in a competitive spirit.