Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Junior and Cadet Camp

Ah, the good old days of being on the cadet and junior teams. One of the biggest goals of a young American table tennis player is to make the cadet team (if you're under 15 as of Jan. 1 of the coming year) or the junior team (if you're under 18 as of Jan. 1 of the coming year) or both if you're a talented little youngster. Every year, the cadet and junior team trials go down at the U.S. Nationals in Vegas, where juniors and cadets compete for 16 spots on the boys' and girls' junior and cadet teams. It's super intense. You'd be surprised how much emotion runs through the players and their families. Now that I'm past that phase of my life (I'm old and 19 y.o. now :-p), I look back and shake my head at my past intensity and tears shed. But as anyone who spends 10 hours a week practicing table tennis or commutes 1 or even 2 hours for practice or spends their summers abroad, training for table tennis, can attest, making the junior or cadet team is a big deal. Members of the national junior teams get sent to camps and tournaments all around the world, all expenses paid. Pretty sweet deal, huh?

The reason this topic came up with me is because on the usatt.org website, there's a little blurb about how ClubJoola in Rockville, MD, is going to host the summer training camp for cadets and juniors this year. Opened in Dec. 2007, it seems like a pretty cool site, with easy access to Washington, D.C. and its attractions, such as the Smithsonian, the White House, and the National Mall. I'm interested in seeing how the place is and how the camp goes.

I like how there are more and more full-time table tennis centers popping up around the US. For example, there's Fan Yiyong's club in Seattle, the Potomac Table Tennis Club in Maryland, the TopSpin Club. I hope to see more!

That's it for now. Peace.


Bina said...

You've written sooooooooooo much. Clearly I need to step it up...my blogging game that is lol jk this is my first time reading your whole page. nice!