Written by Isiah Price. Media by Joseph Wood.
As events, clubs, and activities arise on campus during the transition to Greenville University, a new tradition also began on September 2. Members of the male Residence Life staff hosted a ping-pong tournament in the Upper Union for a group of Greenville University students! The event had a fantastic turnout and players showed tremendous energy while facing each other throughout the day. The students’ enthusiasm became increasingly competitive as the tournament progressed. Some students started to gather to watch the competition, while others wanted to join in.
One student, Austyn Contreras, played multiple games, including the championship match, throughout the day. Contreras is a freshman here at Greenville University. He was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and came all the way to Illinois to be a part of the men’s basketball team. Contreras was in the race competing for the ping-pong tournament title. Students filled the room when the challenge began, anxiously waiting to see who would win. Contreras finished second but was still excited to be a part of the final match. “I would highly recommend other students to play in future ping-pong tournaments in the Upper Union,” Contreras said after his runner-up finish. “It is very fun already, but with more people here to play with or against us and to cheer competitors on, it will only become more enjoyable.”
As the semester progresses, Residence Life staff hope that ping-pong tournaments will only continue to grow. “The tournament was great already but they would be even better if more people came to play or support it,” said Austyn, “Yes, we need more participants but participants only come when the fans do.”
Participating in ping-pong tournaments in the Upper Union, or at other locations on campus, is a great way to meet new faces and reconnect with old faces. Once more people become interested, there could be additional divisions, such as two-on-two and one-on-one.
The tournament hosted on September 2 took place in the Delbert E. Sims Student Union, which was built in 1960. The second floor, more commonly referred to as the Upper Union, was remodeled in 2006 to “…better serve the variety of student needs,” according to the Greenville website. The Upper Union has ping-pong tables, air hockey, foosball, TVs, and many other entertainment opportunities. GU hosts numerous events there throughout the school year, and hopefully newfound ping-pong tournaments become one of them.
Eventually, we may even have the opportunity to make ping-pong an intramural sport at Greenville University. Students could create unique team names, design team uniforms, and have prizes for tournament champions. This would establish a new energy on campus as we expand intramurals, along with many other things, with the transition to Greenville University.
Ping-pong tournaments in the Upper Union are a great way to meet new friends and challenge good people to friendly competition. Come out almost every Saturday this semester to compete against and hang out with other students from all different backgrounds.
We hope to see you there!