by Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Greensboro, North Carolina leaders want to make the 2019 NCTTA championships the best ever in their hometown.
That's why Greensboro Sports Commission President Kim Strable traveled to see the 2018 iSet collegiate table tennis tournament in action in Round Rock, Texas.
He was impressed with the spacious Rock Round Sports Center that's hosting 276 college players from across the USA and Canada. The city near Austin warmly embraced the players, fans and a spirited team of NCTTA volunteers running the games April 20-22.
As players from schools like the University of Texas, British Columbia, SUNY-Stony Brook, Brandeis, Washington, California and Florida swatted table tennis balls Friday, Strable collected ideas to bring ideas back to Greensboro.Other North Carolina officials joined him in Texas.
Located an hour away from Charlotte, Greensboro leaders are pretty adept at the hospitality business. The city is home to the thriving University of North Carolina at Greensboro and tons of attractions.
The city of 270,000 residents in Guilford County served as host of the 2016 Olympic table tennis trials for Team USA. The city hosts the Atlantic Coast Conference's women's basketball tournament each year. The city is home base for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a minor league pro baseball team in the South Atlantic League.
North Carolina's third largest city hosts an NBA G League team (of the Charlotte Hornets) that gets pro hoops players ready for the next level.
Strable appreciates the many positive things that folks in Round Rock are doing to make nearly 300 college table tennis players feel welcome. Rock Rock bills itself as the Sports Capital of Texas and he can see why.
"Round Rock people are doing neat work,'' Strable says. It's obvious, he says, the Texans excited about the national table tennis tournament are "passionate for sports.''
The city is home to the Round Rock Express, a minor league team affiliated with MLB's Texas Rangers. Year-round, the vibrant city near Austin is constantly booking major sporting events.
Round Rock Premium Outlets and the Rock 'N River Family Aquatic Center are some of the fun places to go for visitors. The capital city of Austin, home of the University of Texas, is about a 30-minute drive from Round Rock.
Greensboro also has plenty of things to do for people traveling to the 2019 NCTTA tournament. The city in North Carolina's picturesque heartland trumpets at least 135 attractions and more than 500 restaurants.
Conveniently located off I-40 and I-85, Greensboro will host the Irish International Dance Festival next April when the table tennis championships come to town. About 6,000 or 7,000 Irish dancers will flock to the North Carolina city for their event.
Greensboro has experience hosting NCAA Division II college diving and swimming championships, among other things. The city of Dogwood trees simply goes all out for sports like Round Rockers do.
Kim Strable has been long involved in the sports world. Growing up in Ohio, the Greensboro Sports Commission president played four years of baseball at Albion College in Michigan. Kim's college baseball days ended in the early 1970s. But in 2018, he's still hitting home runs to promote major sporting events in the North Carolina city.
The 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org