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Health Center Today, February 5, 2010

Ping Pong Tourney a Success

By Katie Schneiber, Tournament Organizer and Treasurer of the Medical and Dental Student Government (MDSG)

Photo of Dr. Andrew Arnold and Zhanwu Cui

Dr. Andrew Arnold (left), professor of medicine and genetics and developmental biology, took the grand prize, and Zhanwu Cui, first year post-doc, was the runner-up.

There is a plaque on the wall of the student lounge. It says "UCHC-NCAA Ping Pong Tournament" and only one name is on the plaque--from 1998! I guessed that they held a tournament the year they got the ping pong table and then didn't hold another one.

I'm the treasurer of the Medical and Dental Student Government (MDSG). When the president of MDSG and I met last summer to discuss the budget we decided we wanted to encourage more student activities that didn't center around drinking at the bar. We set aside some money to make sure that if anyone came up with a good idea we could support it.

A group of five or six first-year students started playing at lunch time pretty regularly, and there were several second year students who also used the table. The combination of seeing them play and the lonely name on the plaque gave me the idea for the tournament. I knew I could count on them to help me organize it and participate.

Ping pong players came out of the woodwork! We had residents, professors, post-docs, Ph.D. candidates, medical and dental students, and other members of the Health Center community participating. A total of 36 players signed up, and about 31 played in the first round. Matches were randomly assigned.

We played in the student lounge on two successive Wednesday nights with soda, chips, and salsa for the spectators. Each match took about ten minutes, and lots of people showed up early to scope out the competition. There was a good mix of intermediate to very skilled players and the last hour of playing was really exciting to watch since people fought over every point and pulled off some miraculous saves and smashes.

Photo of Alex Rabkin

Alex Rabkin, second year dental student, took third place.

The grand prize was four tickets to the UConn vs. DePaul menís basketball game, very generously donated by Dr. Laurencin. The runner-up received a $25 gift certificate to the Co-op. Dr. Andrew Arnold, professor of medicine and genetics and developmental biology, took the grand prize, and Zhanwu Cui, first year post-doc, was the runner-up. Alex Rabkin, second year dental student, took third place.

The tournament turned out to be so popular that we've already decided to have regular Wednesday night ping pong and we tossed around the idea of doing a doubles tournament in the spring. We plan on holding this competition again next year. Anyone interested in playing should come to the student lounge Wednesdays at 5 p.m.!

Photo of players competing during the UCHC Ping Pong Tourney

Competition was fierce during the UCHC Ping Pong Tourney.

Photo of players looking over the tournament standings

Players look over the tournament standings.

Photo of players and spectators

The first annual UCHC Ping Pong Tourney attracted many spectators.

Photo of players

Students, faculty and staff were among those competing in the UCHC Ping Pong Tourney.