(Intro by Steve Hopkins)
Augusta-based sports writer Johnathan McGinty has released Part 2 of his series about the early history of college table tennis in the US. The article is titled “The Pursuit of Belonging: The amazing and untold story of the Anderson College and Augusta College table tennis dynasties”. This article includes quotes from Pete May, Derek May, Steve Hopkins, Greg Riley, Brian Pace, Willy Leparulo, Ty Hoff, Richard McAfee, and Nigel Christopher.
The articles follows the beginning and end of the Anderson College and Augusta College table tennis programs. Dynasties and rivals that ran their course in the late 19802 and early 1990s.
With the full support of their college leadership behind them, both programs set out to change the paradigm for the sport.
Anderson College most closely resembled what you might expect a traditional approach to crafting and managing a collegiate program would look like. It established a set amount of scholarships it could allocate to its table tennis student-athletes, and then offered in-state tuition rates to other interested players.
Additionally, to attract the best coaching prospects to nurture and train the growing number of players, Anderson College offered various educational avenues for coaches. This was an increasingly effective recruitment tool as many international table tennis players had been playing or coaching professionally overseas since they were young.
Ninety miles away, Augusta College wasn’t able to offer as robust of a scholarship package and instead relied on a clever mixture of benefits and the ingenuity of Pete May to provide ancillary incentives for prospective players.
“This was the essence of winging it,” Derek May joked.
The full article can be found here.
Interested in USA College Table Tennis? Check out this PongNow Interview featuring Willy Leparulo, one of the visionaries of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association.
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