Mar. 5—Like the remainder of the sporting world, desk tennis has felt the wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not all dangerous information, although.
The North East Alabama Desk Tennis Membership, which has performed on the Anniston Military Depot since 2004, used it as a possibility to increase into Oxford, the place it has performed on the Oxford Civic Heart since January.
The membership performs on Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:30 p.m.
“We have been capable of persuade Oxford to buy two JOOLA event tables and open it up for us to have the ability to play there,” membership member and event director Mike Harris mentioned. “So we created an extension of our membership, Oxford Desk Tennis Membership.”
Earlier than the pandemic interrupted the streak in 2020, North East Alabama Desk Tennis had hosted a sanctioned state event — the Alabama State Championships or the Alabama Groups Event — at Anniston Military Depot yearly since 2004, the yr the membership was began. In some years, the membership hosted each.
When the pandemic compelled the Depot to shut down its gymnasium, which homes 14 Butterfly tables, membership members have been compelled to search out different locations to play.
“It was a troublesome time, you already know, being away from one thing that you have performed since 2004. You have gone to the identical place and performed all these a few years,” Harris mentioned. “So we discovered locations, you already know, companies that had one desk or two tables and church buildings that had a desk accessible that we may get two to a few, 4 folks the place we may socially distance.”
The brand new department in Oxford has allowed the group to get again into considerably of a standard routine. Harris mentioned the membership averages round 12 gamers for its conferences on Thursdays and Saturdays. The group contains gamers from Oxford, Anniston, Jacksonville, Talladega, Atalla, Gadsden, Sand Rock and even Georgia.
Harris mentioned the group is in search of new members, regardless of their age or expertise stage. There are not any charges or dues to hitch the membership.
“We’re in search of the newbie to the superior participant,” he mentioned.
Harris mentioned the membership want to maintain an exhibition on the Quintard Mall sooner or later to attract in kids and construct their ability stage.
“They could possibly be membership members for 30, 40 years,” he mentioned.
Harris mentioned the membership hopes to finally have 10 tables on the Oxford Civic Heart and have the ability to host main tournaments prefer it has on the Anniston Military Depot for years.
“Lengthy-term targets can be to host state tournaments, like we do on the Depot, or open tournaments can be our important goal, which might be having our neighboring states, gamers from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida.
“As desk tennis gamers we journey via the U.S. taking part in in tournaments. So we wish Oxford to be, you already know, one of many important swimming pools for the state of Alabama for gamers to return play.”
Harris mentioned as soon as the Anniston Military Depot opens again up, that the membership plans to play at each places.
He defined that anyone who performs on the Depot, a closed navy base, has to undergo a background test. He hopes the Oxford Desk Tennis Membership will assist carry simpler entry and extra publicity to the game.
“At Oxford, anyone can soar off the interstate and play there on the Oxford Civic Heart,” Harris mentioned earlier than including, “Compared to the Depot, it being a closed navy base, it is form of hidden that we have hosted the state event since 2004. However with town, we want to have it to be extra publicized the place extra folks know in regards to the sport of desk tennis.”
Assistant Sports activities Editor Jared Gravette: 256-235-3572. On Twitter: @Jared_Gravette.