Introducing: Ustinov table tennis society

By Lucy Pritchard

This term Ustinov college welcomes an exciting new addition to our list of clubs and societies – table tennis! So who are they and what are they all about? I caught up with the newly appointed society president Vera Bieber to find out:

 So, how did the society come about?

I noticed during frisbee practices in Howlands Hall that there were table tennis tables standing around and I knew that Ustinov didn’t have a table tennis society. I quite enjoy playing and talked about that with my flatmate Ewan who likes to play it too, and we decided to reserve the hall and post on the Ustinov Facebook group to let any other interested people join us, too. That first session was a success! Beside the four tables in the hall, we also found a pile of bats and balls available there. So, I reserved the hall again for the Sunday after that and it just carried on. At some point Tom, the Clubs and Societies officer, said that we could turn the table tennis gatherings into an official society and receive funding from the GCR, so we ended up founding the society.

 Now that you’re an official society, do you have any plans for the future?

A few of our regulars are quite ambitious and would like to compete at college level. However, the current season has already started and so we would need to wait until next year to join a college league. But as it stands, at the moment we don’t even know whether we will have facilities to continue playing table tennis at Sheraton, so it’s still unclear whether the society will even still exist after the move from Howlands to Sheraton is completed…

What about socials?

Maybe! We get a lot of people coming over from Sheraton to play with us, but of course they don’t want to stay super late on a Sunday evening, so we’ll have to figure out the ideal timing if we want to host socials in addition to our regular playing sessions!

How would you sum up your society for anyone who’s interested in coming along?

Everybody is always welcome to come along to our table tennis playing sessions on Sundays between 7 and 9pm in Howlands Hall! Our sessions are not as serious as other sports teams’ practices. People come and go and pause for chats as they want, it’s a really relaxed atmosphere. We’re a very open society, anyone can walk in at any time and play for a bit and then leave whenever they want.

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