CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M Corpus Christi has another athlete representing the Islanders on the national stage. This time it's for table tennis. Viren Patel is the first Islander to qualify for the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association Championships, a sport he has played competitively in India since he was 13-years-old.
"It's really a proud moment because until now there was no one from Corpus Christi Texas A&M that has gone to nationals for table tennis, so that was my only aim when I got here that I wanted to take the school to nationals," Patel said. "Fortunately, I could do that."
The first-year master's student advances in table tennis singles. When choosing a school, Patel was looking for a good computer science program, but he was also wanting to continue playing competitively.
The president of the club, Nin Gan, said that table tennis had been on and off for about 25 years. The fourth-year PHD Marine Biology student revived the program as a freshman, and now Patel has a chance to highlight their efforts.
"Put a lot of effort in running this club and organizing all the things. Getting people to join and getting people excited about table tennis. Having this outlet is what allowed viren to have this opportunity because prior to me coming there was no table tennis club," Gan said.
Over 250 of the best college table tennis players, competing in one of the most popular Olympic sports, will represent more than 50 different colleges and universities to battle for national titles in singles, doubles, and team events throughout the tournament. Fans can attend the event April 14-16 at the Round Rock Sports Center.
If you are interested in getting into table tennis consider joining the Corpus Christi table tennis club. Meetings are Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church gymnasium.
TAMU-CC table tennis club hosts free-play ping pong on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Dugan Wellness Center on TAMU-CC's campus. Del Mar College hosts open rec intramural table tennis on Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Heritage Campus gymnasium.