Competitive Table Tennis CCA- HKSSF- Division 3-A Grade Boys Competition
Bryan Wong DP1
In the 9 years that I’ve been in the table tennis team at SISHK, this has been by far the most memorable season. The level of commitment, dedication, and passion shown by our team this year was unparalleled with anything that I had ever experienced before.
After sweeping through the group stage in the previous year, we suffered an agonising defeat in the round of 16 – much to the dismay of our coach, who described our performance well beneath our capabilities and nowhere close to the expectations he had set for us.
Table Tennis is not a sport with an extreme emphasis on athleticism. It is instead a sport of speed, agility, and creativity, mastered through continuous repetitive motion and attention to meticulous detail in order to perfect technique and footwork. It is not a sport where ‘talent’ plays a large role, but one that recognises constant, regular practice. We knew following our defeat that the only way to achieve a better result was to continue training to improve.
Our coach sent us to Shenzhen to train over the summer. I spent 4 out of the 7 days in Shenzhen, training 3 hours each time, and spent another 2 days training at my local club. My fellow teammate Andrew Wong (S2M) was even more dedicated, practicing 6 out of the 7 days of the week, training with Chinese super league level coaches.
We swept through the group stages once again, with help from our new team mate Kuan Zher (S3S).It was his first time playing in an actual competition and he masterfully played three perfect games. Yet we knew not to become complacent, after all, we had been in the exact same situation the year before. Our goal for the year was to make it into the semi-finals, a task much easier said than done.
As we were informed of the date for the playoff rounds, which would occur over the October break, we received bad news. Two of our four players would not be in Hong Kong on that day, as they had previously scheduled trips to Singapore. But we would not let one year of preparation go to waste. Marcus Lam (S3S) rescheduled his flight, flying back to Hong Kong alone just to participate in the competition, and organised training sessions back in Singapore to prepare for the competition. It was this level of dedication that inspired us as a team and gave us a sense of purpose to achieve a good result.
The day of the playoffs was one filled with ups and downs. We started off strong, breezing through both the round of 16 and the quarter-finals. It was in the semi-finals that things started to heat up. Our supporters including fellow teammates, family, and friends, cheering after every point we won. We ended up winning the semi-finals at a score of 3 games to 1.
The atmosphere at the finals was electric, filled with passion and loud cheers. We fed off each other’s energy, especially our coach, who would shout out words of encouragement after every single point.
Table tennis is mostly an individual sport, but it was during this competition that I truly felt a sense of unity and we functioned as a cohesive, united sports team. We came painstakingly close to that win. However, it ended up being a 3-1 loss, but each of our games went down to the wire. It was still a remarkable achievement, and I would have been delighted with 2nd place if I had been given the option at the start of the year.
The defeat inspired us to strive for further success. The future of our team looks bright and I am proud to finally say that after four consecutive years of defeat, my team finally achieved a top 2 finish in an inter-school competition.