By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
A future physical therapist, Isabel Chu is a bright UCLA freshman who excels in the classroom and in table tennis circles.
Her passion for her favorite Olympic sport is through the roof.
“I love the sport of table tennis because it challenges you physically and mentally,‘’ Isabel says. "It’s a game that pushes you to think out of the box. It’s a game that teaches you to persevere through hardships.’’
Given her tremendous skills as a table tennis player since she was a young girl and her academic excellence, Isabel Chu was selected a scholarship recipient in December 2015. The NCTTA and Newgy Industries that manufactures high quality table tennis robots, is delighted to once again team up to sponsor the annual scholarship. In short, Isabel shines as an outstanding student-athlete with unlimited potential!
An 18-year-old Milpitas, California native, Isabel experienced much success in recent years with paddle in hand. In 2015, she was named a Bronze Medalist at the U.S. Open Girls table tennis games. In 2014, she was selected a Silver Medalist at the U.S. Nationals Junior Girls competition.
Her remarkable string of dozens of extraordinary showings in table tennis dates back to 2006 when she was a ten and under finalist in girls competition at the San Diego Butterfly Open.
On the academic side, Isabel signed up for just about every Advanced Placement course possible at Milpitas High. Chemistry, calculus, and American history, were just a few of her AP classes. She racked up an unbelievable 4.14 academic average at the school. She’s a physiological science major on the UCLA campus and on track to graduate with the Class of 2019.
Volunteer work is in her DNA, too. She’s tutored kids at the Milpitas Public Library in reading and math. She’s also served as a volunteer in 2015 at Mountain View Physical Therapy in California.
NCTTA President Willy Leparulo applauds her passion for table tennis and academics.
“She clearly stands out among teens competing in the nation’s table tennis world, and spends lots of time with the books, too. We wish Isabel continued success ahead on both fronts at UCLA,’’ Leparulo said.
Isabel Chu says she appreciates how table tennis opened doors for her to meet people from various backgrounds and many countries."Although we are enemies on the court, we can still be friends once the match is over.’’
Thanks to dynamic players like Isabel, table tennis fans seem to be growing on the UCLA campus. While it’s always tough to compete with big-time Bruins basketball, baseball and football programs, table tennis is gaining in popularity in the Los Angeles area.
NCTTA leaders applaud Newgy Industries for supporting this scholarship program for top-notch student-athletes for years.