– The official voice of the –

British Columbia Table Tennis Association

BC Table Tennis Association
P. O. Box 35546, RPO Bridgeport,
Richmond BC, Canada, V6X4G6 

Above image: the Goddess of Ping Pong from:
It's Garry Shandling's Show - S3E05 - The Natural

How I became the BCTTA Communications Director:

The GOPP, the Goddess of Ping Pong, had plans for me. Although I had abandoned the sport 45 years earlier, she found me: flabby, frustrated and lamenting on the lack of recreational opportunities during the lockdown at the height of the COVID pandemic.

She appeared in the guise of my best friend Bob, who out of the blue suggested we go play ping pong on the steel table tennis tables at Empire Fields, just east of the roller coaster at the PNE. The air was fresh, the chance of viral transmission was low, and the plaza on which the 3 tables were arrayed proved to be remarkably warm even on the coldest days of winter. I played through overuse injuries during that first spring, and emerged fit and fast just in time for the heat of summer where, during the heat dome of two Junes ago, you could fry a burger on the steel table top. We played through the capricious winds of fall and into the chilly stillness of winter, and before long it was spring again. We had been playing for 1 year!

Unbeknownst to me, the GOPP's next move was to awaken the TT spirit in the long-lost former giant of local table tennis, Eddy Lo who, in response to the siren's call, appeared suddenly and mysteriously on the coast carrying a sacred box and, like a human magnet acting across space and time, he compelled me and other long-lost table tennis diaspora to pick up our dusty racquets, and we all reassembled around the sport once again, older, slower but just as keen.

The next phase of the GOPP's plan for me included the agent of serendipity, a favourite of most deities, and its work began one afternoon when, "by chance", I met the current BCTTA president, Amelia Ho. We hit it off immediately and our intersection through table tennis became apparent over the hour we chatted. Amelia mentioned there was a need within the BCTTA for someone with my skillset as a web and print designer who also happens to be passionate about table tennis. Within a week of that conversation, Chandra Madhosingh passed away. To say he had devoted his life to the game of table tennis is an understatement. He embodied the sport and its spirit of sharing and caring and, with the loss of any wise elder, we lost a legacy along with all of his knowledge and experience. I immediately realized it was my time to give back to the sport. I volunteered to be the BCTTA's new Communications Director and began to build this new website which I hope you will enjoy and be motivated to contribute to.

What are the GOPP's plans for me moving forward? Her instructions are clear: to maintain this website, to work hard to build the BCTTA, and to try my best to emulate the examples of excellent publishing contained in Eddy's sacred box. I am up for these tasks!

Welcome to the new BCTTA website!

Welcome to the new BCTTA website! Our overarching goal is to be the voice for table tennis in BC. We welcome you to contribute your voice, your ideas, your solutions to problems that have plagued the BCTTA for years, most urgent among these is promoting the sport of table tennis in BC and building a model for inclusion. Let’s face it, everyone can learn to play and benefit form a sport that can be enjoyed from 3 to 103. We want to get the word out to all communities on how great table tennis can be for health, for building social connections, for learning mad skills on the table, and we invite everyone to become a member!

A new website is commissioned

One of the last table tennis-related acts by Chandra Madhosingh, the father of BC table tennis, was to commit to a new website for the BCTTA. Chandra championed the importance of communication as a means of building the sport of table tennis and indeed, over the years, he personally wrote copious quantities of letters, editorials, reports and statistical analyses, mostly long hand, to secure funding, to further an athlete’s career, to share ideas, to promote the sport. This new website is dedicated to, and hopes to reflect, Chandra’s ethos of telling the story of table tennis in BC as completely as possible, from as many angles as possible.

A helpful reference point appears

If Chandra’s blessing was the official go-ahead for a new website, a trove of old CTTA and BCTTA publications from Eddy Lo was a godsend. Included within the box were many editions of BCTTA LeTTers and News, compiled, edited and published by Eric Calveley, who also wrote the numerous humorous articles that appeared over the years. From the point of view of creating a new website for the BCTTA, the perspective provided by these archives is an invaluable guide. We republished a dozen of these publications in a section of the website titled “Looking Back” so you could see for yourself how much work went into each edition and how many voices consistently contributed.

Our goals for the new BCTTA website

The 1970’s BCTTA LeTTers and News publications served to keep players and fans abreast of table tennis news and events. Everyone was encouraged to contribute, many officials reporting on the progress of their file, and other dedicated volunteers who contributed tournament reports, league stats, announcements, summaries of meetings and rule changes. Reading each edition from cover to cover was a veritable delight for BC table tennis buffs!

Our goal with the new BCTTA website is to be the instantly-updatable, digital version of those informative newsletters. We endeavour to offer a similar scope of coverage and will depend on you, our readers, to become the reporters, the writers of letters to the editor, the persons with good ideas to improve the sport of table tennis. Inspired by the old newsletters, we will encourage each BCTTA director to report regularly on progress made in their area of expertise. We would love to receive your modern day version of letters to the editor: your comments, concerns and criticisms, your ideas and what inspires you about the sport of table tennis. We will also make room in this “publication”, no longer bound by page limitations and productions costs, for you to tell your story of how table tennis has affected your life. Feel free to contribute. Tell your friends to visit and let’s make this a great website for everyone who enjoys table tennis in BC!

Yours sincerely,

William Vrabel,
BCTTA Communications Director
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