By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Round Rock bills itself as the Sports Capital of Texas, but the wonderful city near Austin is much more. So is the Round Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Its friendly staff of leaders did a terrific job hosting the 2016 NCTTA Championships in the Lone Star State. And they will once again roll out the red carpet to 250-plus table tennis players, coaches, volunteers & fans at the 2018 games.
The same high level of enthusiasm combines nicely with fantastic hospitality. City officials are clearly stepping up their game as they help make Round Rock an appealing oasis to table tennis people across the USA and Canada. The NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year runs from April 20-22 at the Round Rock Sports Center.
Nancy Yawn, CVB director for the City of Round Rock, is perhaps the biggest cheerleader for her lively hometown. It’s brimming with many things to do away from the table tennis venue.
“When the table tennis games are over, you’ll find some of the best shopping around with the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Bass Pro Shops and Ikea,’’ Yawn said. “Plus, fabulous restaurants await the entire table tennis family and team with ample seating for the whole group to enjoy.’’
Don’t let her last name fool you. Nancy Yawn is really just getting started with her zealous pitch for Round Rock. Visitors should experience a world famous Round Rock Donut, she suggests.
Barbecue sandwiches are another delicious way to go. Baseball fans should check out the action with the Round Rock Express. It’s the Texas Rangers successful Triple A franchise, the speedy gateway to the MLB. Who knows? Baseball legends like Nolan Ryan may be in town for a game at Dell Diamond. The season opened April 5.
Table tennis stars could check out other attractions in Round Rock as they take a break from their favorite Olympic sport. The Chisholm Trail Crossing Park might be the perfect place to go. Or try Round Rock’s live escape room known as Escapology.
Music on Main (on the city’s Main Street Plaza) is an option once players put away their paddles. It features live music from April 14-September 8. Pinthouse Pizza is one of the latest eateries to break ground in the city. Round Rockers and visitors love a slice of pizza no matter the occasion.
Round Rock is conveniently located near the state capital of Austin, that’s also home to the University of Texas. It should be a short 30-minute ride to the venue for UT Longhorns student-athletes who eat and breathe table tennis.
Round Rock CVB people are proud of all the positives in scenic Williamson County. It’s rated the 2nd healthiest county in Texas. Folks there believe in riding bikes, playing sports, having fun, and working out.
Table tennis players and fans are invited to stop by the downtown Round Rock Visitors Center to discover much more about the city’s multitude of attractions, shopping, and dining possibilities. Said Nancy Yawn (and she means every word): “Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you find local favorites and ensure a great stay!’’
For more information, go online to SportsCapitalofTexas.com
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