GGC table tennis club team poised to shine in regional competition
Team includes state’s top player
UPDATE: Tony Yeap, team captain and vice president of GGC’s table tennis club and Georgia’s top-ranked player, has been invited to compete in the 2014 National Collegiate Table Tennis Association College Championships, April 4-6, in Monroeville, Pa.
After a successful fall season, Georgia Gwinnett College’s table tennis club team is headed to a regional tournament where team member Tony Yeap, number one seed for the Georgia Division, hopes to qualify for national competition.
Table tennis, an Olympic sport first appearing in the 1988 Seoul, Korea, games, has gained popularity in recent years, with about 10 million people now playing recreationally and competitively around the globe.
Yeap, 22, got into the sport after a fellow GGC student challenged him to a game.
He has since emerged as the state’s top player.
“I enjoyed the sport so much that I to co-founded the club team at GGC in 2011 so I could have fun while taking it to the next level of competition,” said Yeap, team captain and vice president of the club. “With the help of the wonderful professors at GGC, the sport has been a life-changing experience for me, keeping me on a track for success in achieving my goals.”
Yeap, a Lawrenceville resident, hones his skills through about six hours of weekly training during team practices as well as his own time. He also enjoys teaching friends and fellow students who are interested and want to advance in the sport.
“I think my success has been due to lots of practice and confidence,” Yeap said. “Staying positive and believing that you can do something can go a long way.”
Yeap believes the sport also has given him a new sense of responsibility and helped him contribute in a positive way to his peers, colleagues and to society. He attributes his character development and personal sense of well-being to the focus and discipline learned while mastering the game.
“Amazingly, the sport has driven me to be a more passionate person and has helped me advance in all areas of my life,” Yeap said. “It’s such an honor to play among top players, something I never expected.”
“We have 11 club sports programs at GGC, and several of them have been quite competitive, besting larger colleges and universities from across the state, region and even the nation,” said Zac Schneider, assistant director for Club Sports and Intramural Sports. “These programs are made available through the Wellness & Recreation Center and are open to all students.”
Yeap plans to graduate from GGC in the fall of 2016 and become a Registered Nurse.
“I’m grateful for the opportunities GGC has afforded me,” he said. “My experience here has been phenomenal, and I believe that this school will flourish and be one of the best in Georgia.”
Table tennis fans are invited to attend the March 1 regional tournament at Action Sports Academy, 5639 Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain, Ga. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Sponsored by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association, the tournament will include top contenders such as Texas Wesleyan, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Tulane University. The teams will vie for a chance to compete in the national tournament in Monroeville, Pa., in April.