Pandemic Ping Pong

Read more to learn about the LCC Table Tennis Club!

Photo Credit Grant Lumkong

Established two years ago, the LCC Table Tennis club has been connecting students through their shared passion for this sport. During his 11th grade year, senior Grant Lumkong decided to start this club with his friends, which resulted in them finding a whole network of table tennis lovers throughout San Diego.

“We thought it would be fun to create an inclusive sport that has both a competitive and recreational option for members,” said Lumkong.

Initially Lumkong created the club with his friend group, and their efforts in raising money for tables allowed them to create schoolwide tournaments. The club's expansion brought together LCC students from all grade levels.

“I think that members of the club connected with each other and created new friendships. We trained to play in an adult league in downtown San Diego, and had a lot of fun times meeting people our age and older than us,” said Lumkong.

The club, though close, is super inclusive, and new members are always welcome. More experienced members are always willing to teach amateurs the ways of the sport and give tips.

Even though they might not be on campus, the Table Tennis Club is still swinging in action. Before COVID-19, the club had regular practices twice a week and would participate in local tournaments. Lumkong shares how the club has stayed active during this time.

“As of now, we have been encouraging members who have a table at the home to play with friends and family safely. Fortunately, a ping pong table is nine feet long, so social distancing can be practiced while playing table tennis,” said Lumkong.

Club members can safely play together, socially distanced of course, purely based on the standard regulation size of the table. The club looks forward to matches lined up against rival schools Canyon Crest Academy and Torrey Pines once it is safe to do so.

In the temporary absence of cross-school competitive matches, we have been provided the opportunity to reflect upon the life skills that table tennis has instilled in each player. The sport emphasizes the importance of repetition and practice, and the discipline and patience that these things require are extremely valuable skills.

“You must be persistent and have the ability to adapt and change your game based on your opponent's strengths and weaknesses,” said Lumkong.

Aside from giving unique insight into the complexity of the sport, this statement also reflects how the players have certainly adapted to practice amidst a pandemic and cannot wait to get back to the game.

Not only has this community connected those with common ground, but it has also highlighted and celebrated the differences that make us who we are.

“[Table tennis] draws a community of many immigrants from all over the world, and it is very intriguing to hear their stories and experiences” said Lumkong.

Lumkong appreciates how connected the table tennis community is, not only in his city, but across the entire world.

Written by: Ally Berman and Evelyn Berry