WAB Featured Club: Rhode Island Table Tennis Association
(by Steve Hopkins)
On January 21st, the Rhode Island Table Tennis Association will host its first sanctioned event of 2019, the RITTA WINTER OPEN. Our Fall tournament was won by Charles Deng, former US Team member now a local Brown University student. January 21st should be an exciting day and we encourage anyone nearby to come to compete or watch.
The club has taken on the role of supporting/hosting the table tennis event portion of the 2019 Boston Bruins fundraiser called Pucks & Paddles. RITTA and BUTTERFLY will be providing equipment and staff. The event benefits the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. The Bruins attend, and 16 players will be matched with doubles partners based upon auction. Anyone wishing to attend or donate can visit www.BostonBruins.com/PingPong for more information.
Our club is situated in the village of Manville in the Northeastern corner of Rhode Island. We are ten miles from Providence, 50 miles from downtown Boston, 80 miles from Hartford, 150 miles from Albany, and 190 miles from Manhattan. That is to say, there are a lot of people that live within three hours of our club.
The Rhode Island Table Tennis Association is in its 71st year of continuous operation – dating back to the club reopening after World War II. It has a rich early history that included being a regular stop for regional players and pros with appearances from Dick Miles and Marty Reisman and Bernie Bukiet and later from more recent legends like David Sakai and George Braithwaite. We were home to USATT Hall of Famer Dick Evans, were host for nearly a decade to USATT Magazine and one of the most interesting features of the club is the League – which has been running using the same basic rules since the 1940s.
“Last week I had a visitor ask how long the club had been around. I smiled and said, the club closed for a brief time during World War II.” – Steve Hopkins
Over the years, the club has had three locations (Providence, then Warwick, and now Manville). The Rhode Island Club has seen some updates, we’re now a We Are Butterfly club with great tables and lighting and wood floors. But our rich history continues. Come visit us and share in that history.
For more about the Rhode Island Table Tennis Association and our club hours, visit the RITTA WAB page.