Ta­ble ten­nis fit for the mall

TC Square to host tour­na­ment in Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY ANDREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

If you hear the sound of a ball bounc­ing around at the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square Mall in Car­bon­ear, don’t as­sume some­one’s child is mis­be­hav­ing.

On Satur­day, Feb. 18, the mall will play host to a New­found­land and Labrador Ta­ble Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion (NLTTA) tour­na­ment. The event is part of the Town of Car­bon­ear’s 2017 Win­ter Fest and fea­tures the best ta­ble ten­nis play­ers in the prov­ince, in­clud­ing a few from the lo­cal Con­cep­tion Bay North Ta­ble Ten­nis Club.

“This is the first time ever for a ta­ble ten­nis tour­na­ment in a mall in New­found­land,” NLTTA pres­i­dent Barry Hicks told The Com­pass. “We’re hop­ing it’s go­ing to draw a crowd, not only for mall mer­chants but also to try and at­tract peo­ple to the game of ta­ble ten­nis.”

Hicks, who lives in Car­bon­ear, ex­pects to see some high­cal­i­bre ac­tion in the mall for the all-day event. Round-robin matches will take place in the morn­ing, fol­lowed af­ter lunch by the knock­out stage. Hicks an­tic­i­pates the cham­pi­onship match will start around 4 p.m.

Ap­prox­i­mately half the play­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing rep­re­sent the lo­cal ta­ble ten­nis club.

It was a fel­low mem­ber of the provin­cial as­so­ci­a­tion who wit­nessed a sim­i­lar event while vis­it­ing Florida and came for­ward with the idea of play­ing at a mall in New­found­land.

“For sev­eral years now, we’ve been try­ing to high­light the game more so, and it’s dif­fi­cult,” said Hicks. “It’s not a game that’s typ­i­cally thought of as a well-known sport, so we thought (a tour­na­ment in the mall) would be a great way to boost the pop­u­lar­ity of the game in New­found­land.”

For those cu­ri­ous, there should be no is­sues with stray balls strik­ing shop­pers. Hicks said bar­ri­ers would sur­round the play­ing area to pre­vent them from dart­ing to­ward un­wanted ar­eas.

Play­ers with the lo­cal ta­ble ten­nis club gather each Tuesday at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate start­ing at 7 p.m. for weekly games. Any­one in­ter­ested in tak­ing part can con­tact Barry Hicks at pres­i­dent@nltta.com.

“We’re hop­ing it’s go­ing to draw a crowd, not only for mall mer­chants, but also to try and at­tract peo­ple to the game of ta­ble ten­nis.” — Barry Hicks

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Lo­cal ta­ble ten­nis player Barry Hicks, pres­i­dent of the New­found­land and Labrador Ta­ble Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion, is ex­cited about a unique tour­na­ment the Con­cep­tion Bay North Ta­ble Ten­nis Club will host this week­end.

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