Youth table tennis scene emerging on the Island

Pictured from left, MVRHS seniors Jack Crawford, Annabelle Brothers, and Linus Munn participated in the Martha's Vineyard Table Tennis Club's first ever high school tournament last week. — Courtesy - Bob O'Rourke

Last week, the Martha’s Vineyard Table Tennis Club held its first-ever high school tournament, with MVRHS senior Jack Crawford coming out on top in the final over fellow senior Linus Munn in a four-game set.

Crawford and Munn are part of a small group of Vineyarders ho recently began attending the club’s afternoon weekly meet-ups at the YMCA and the high school. Most of the MVTTC is made up of experienced adult players, but they encourage people of all ages and skill levels to come play.

“I first discovered the club during one of my workouts at the YMCA with a friend a few months back,” Munn explained. “We noticed that the fitness room was being used for Ping-Pong, and we approached them, asking if we could join in … We’ve been playing ever since.”

Word spread, and soon Crawford, as well as senior Annabelle Brothers, senior Nikola Asinova, and a couple of others joined the fray. Bob O’Rourke and others at the MVTTC noticed how much the high schoolers were taking to the sport, and decided to run a tournament for them.

“Part of what I like so much about it is the challenge,” Munn said. “I love learning new things and challenging myself in various aspects of my life … I had played Ping-Pong casually over the years, but it had been a long time since I had picked up a paddle. I would say I really started playing Ping-Pong when I started with the club.”

Brothers echoed his sentiments, saying, “I am very much a beginner, so it is cool to interact with community members and have a good time with some of my friends from high school, too. The other members have really great table tennis advice, and are always enthusiastic about helping newer players improve.”

Crawford added, “The MVTTC members are really, really good. It’s been great to learn from them; I’ve definitely gotten better going to the club … I would recommend it for almost everyone.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Table Tennis Club meets at the high school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm, and on weekends at the YMCA from 2 to 5.