Letters from the dorm: Keep your eye on the ball

Letters from the dorm: Keep your eye on the ball

Even as the sun's light fades into the horizon, a small but constant group of people clusters around the House table tennis table. As luck - and a few well-placed suggestions - would have it, a courtyard lamp has been installed. Thus, day or night, the table awaits any student willing to give it a go.

All around Winchester College, pupils have the opportunity to play on the tables their house provides. I often find myself drawn to the table, where I'll take part in a series of rallies, or competitive games, with a willing friend.

It's often said that you should keep yourself busy. Table tennis, therefore, or any other simple activity - pool springs to mind - is a great way to unwind while being entertaining at the same time. When work or even more serious sports start to feel gruelling, everyone should relax with a simple game of ping pong.

Although many might consider sitting in front of the TV, or simply listening to music, to be a good enough answer to boredom or overwork, table tennis is different: it won't rot your mind and reduce its mental state to that of a vegetable, and, if absolutely necessary, you can bring your iPod to the table, as long as your playing partner agrees to it. What's more, people of Asian descent, and particularly inhabitants of Hong Kong, are normally rather good at the game.

My only word of warning is for players of high skill: those in charge of boarding houses are sometimes mean with money, so any table tennis balls or bats provided may not be as good as you might like. So bring your own paddle, and maybe a few three-star balls, when packing for your trip overseas. If you're particularly good, you might even consider raising funds for a new table if there isn't one already, or at least pushing your housemaster or teacher to get one.

Whether you enjoy the sport or not, you should keep in mind one simple fact: it's OK to take a break every now and then. If table tennis floats your boat, you should go for it. I know I do.

 

You might also like:

- Table tennis genius had to balance the sport he loves and his studies as he prepared for the DSE exams

- LFTD: Isabel packed her bags and set out for Paris where she'll be an exchange student for the next nine months

- LFTD: Exams might be tough but it's more effective to do the work yourself rather than rely on the help of tutors.

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