Physical Education Smashes with a New Hit: Table Tennis

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Christi Kim

Anthony Jin ’18 serves a table tennis ball

If one were to walk into Room 008 on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays during fifth period, sounds of almost weightless balls clattering onto the floor, paddles making hollow wooden noises, and students cheering would surely greet one. Here, Mr. Dahlem teaches a new Table-Tennis curriculum to a group of juniors and seniors.

Table tennis is a nationally accepted sport played in world events such as the Olympics and the Paralympics. In a survey of 500 students conducted via email by Mr. Dahlem, Bronx Science students overall ranked table tennis as the fourth most desired gym unit after badminton, basketball, and volleyball, respectively.

“I am ecstatic! I am genuinely excited, because I’ve always wanted to play table tennis, but I haven’t had the resources,” said Sinekdha Sarkar ’18.

Given these results, Mr. Dahlem decided to create a table tennis unit in an attempt to try and appeal to the students’ requests. “This is what the students want, and the PE department is always looking to please the student body in any way that we can, for we know that our students will continue to be active if they find something that they enjoy,” he commented.

Mr. Dahlem hopes to continue this unit for years to come. He plans to provide an introductory course for table tennis and to teach the students how to accurately keep score and play both singles and doubles, thereby learning many table tennis techniques such as basic forehand and backhand strokes. He also hopes that table tennis will innately help students to develop fine motor and social skills and improve their reaction time.

Many students already share a passion to learn table tennis. “I am ecstatic! I am genuinely excited, because I’ve always wanted to play table tennis, but I haven’t had the resources,” said Sinekdha Sarkar ’18.

Similarly, Jennifer Cheung ’18 stated, “I feel excited and anxious. More excited than anxious. I’ve never played table tennis before, never touched a paddle, nada, but I have always wanted to try it out. It’s definitely fun to try out. I’m starting to get the hang of it!”

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