Ping pong enthusiasts can rejoice, as Jan. 26 marked the launch of SAIT’s first official ping pong club.
The “Ping Pong Club” was founded by five SAIT Business Administrative students: president Brandon Bracko, vice-president Brett Tate, assistant vice-president James Vanderwoerd, operations manager Dylan Surbey and equipment manager Malcolm Strasdin.
The group began playing for fun at the beginning of the winter semester and, upon realizing that SAIT had no official ping pong club, decided to set up a meeting with the SAIT Students’ Association (SAITSA).
“Brandon was the one that actually pulled the trigger,” said Tate.
All SAIT clubs are student-run and can be classified as academic, or non-academic “social” clubs.
In order to start a new club, SAITSA requires that two students act as president and vice president, and that an online registration form be filled out.
According to the Ping Pong Club, there are two tables in the basement of the Campus Centre, one in the Begin Tower’s recreation room, where the group first began playing, and one in the upstairs corner of the Aldred Centre, which the group refers to as its “secret table.”
“We’ve been trying to get in this room,” said Vanderwoerd.
The room, however, is protected by a code, and the club is determined to gain access.
The group admits that some motivation for starting the Ping Pong Club revolved around gaining control of the secluded ping pong table.
“It’s like the executive bathroom [of ping pong tables],” said Surbey.
SAITSA states that each club must hold a minimum of one event per-semester in order to retain its club status.
According to SAITSA, yearly events typically fall into one of three categories: industry and networking events, social events, and fund-raising events.
In order to aid students in the planning and execution of these events, SAITSA may provide funding of up to 50 per cent of the total estimated costs for social events, to a maximum of $800.
If clubs are holding an industry event, SAITSA may provide 100 per cent of the total costs, again to a maximum of $800.
In addition, every new club that registers with SAITSA receives a $100 start-up grant, which is automatically deposited into the club’s newly-created bank account.
The Ping Pong Club plans to organize social events.
“We want to rent out a community centre and have a social ping pong night,” said Tate.
Ideas such as glow-in-the-dark ping pong tournaments are being discussed.
“We’re going to throw serious tournaments and many keggers,” said Bracko.
The group’s plans for the future include getting more people involved and acquiring more ping pong tables for students to play on.
We encourage all types of players. – Brett Tate
According to SAITSA, clubs play an important role in helping to promote a sense of community and belonging around campus.
Joining an on-campus club is an easy way for students who share the same interests to connect.
Running a club is also an opportunity for students because it teaches valuable leadership skills.
Whether you’re a “newbie” or a seasoned veteran, the Ping Pong Club is open to anyone interested in the game.
“I only started three weeks ago, but I’m getting there,” said Surbey.
The club’s goal is to establish itself as a fun place where ping pong enthusiasts can get together and play.
“We encourage all types of players,” said Tate.
More information regarding SAIT clubs can be found on the SAITSA website.