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April 4, 2013
Egyptian Table Tennis Player Makes Splash at College of the Desert
Egypt is a history loverís paradise. From the Great Sphinx to the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt is loaded with ancient artifacts dating back thousands of years.
Fast forward to the 21st century nation ruled by President Mohamed Morsi. A recent resident of the Middle East country in northern Africa, Ahmed Hendawi is making a difference as a standout table tennis player at the College of the Desert.
His father played table tennis in Egypt, so Ahmed picked up a paddle at age 12 and simply fell in love with the sport. He played in one ITTF tournament before trying his luck in USA clubs a few months ago. At one of the California clubs, Ahmed played 60-year-olds, but didnít mind as he improved his skill level.
To make a long story short, one of the employees at the College of the Desert told him about the NCTTA and its college teams competing on the West Coast. He made sure that Hendawi hooked up with NCTTA leaders, and it was just in time for the Egyptian native to compete and qualify for NCTTA singles competitions in the spring. He did well enough to punch his ticket to Rockford.
He may speak fluent Arabic and continues to work on improving his English, but Ahmed is showing that table tennis is a game with no language barriers.
Hendawi is by far the best table tennis player at the 10,000-student College of the Desert, one of 112 community colleges in California. Their 14 sports teams are nicknamed the Road Runners.
That name is really a great fit for their star table tennis player. Ahmed traveled thousands of miles from Egypt to reach the shores of the USA, and will soon hit the road for the NCTTA national championships in Illinois.
The College of the Desert opened its doors in September 1962. This spring, Hendawi is opening doors for more collegians to get involved in table tennis on the California campus. His story should inspire others in North America to pick up a paddle, practice hard, and good things will happen.
The 2013 College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Rockford Area Convention and Visitorís Bureau and is one of the most competitive table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Menís and Womenís Singles and Doubles, and Menís/Coed Teams, Womenís Teams. The event is sponsored by Newgy Industries, Butterfly, PR etc. Rockford Table Tennis Club, Fitzgerald Equipment, Rockford Park District
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the 2013 College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th at the Forest City Tennis Center in Rockford, Illinois.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org