Ohio SQT - Columbus Table Tennis Club, Jan Lie
by Joshua Dyke
In Ohio, Columbus Table Tennis Club (CTTC) will run the US Nationals Table Tennis Championships State Qualification Tournament (SQT). Columbus is the central table tennis city of Ohio and the perfect environment for its State Qualifier. The Ohio SQT is on the schedule as a marathon-style tournament lasting Saturday, March 6 to Sunday, March 28.
Columbus Table Tennis Club seeks to offer Ohioans events spread over the entire month of March. Their goal is to give players a safe environment with optimal match times for all event categories.
Columbus Table Tennis Club has been in existence for more than 50 years. Ohio SQT Tournament Director Jan Lie has been with the organization for the last ten years. He has been vocal with his excitement about the competition that the state tournament games present for Ohio.
Lie, with anticipation for the state qualifier, “we hope that all Ohio residents that are US citizens can participate in this wonderful State Qualifier event. You can take it as a qualifier to the US Nationals or treat it as an Ohio Championship to see who’s the best in Ohio for the Open and various age group events. We are excited to be a part of this and hope to partner with USATT annually in this event!”
The club itself boasts an excellent table tennis facility well-equipped with 13 competition-size courts enclosed with barriers. The courts are donning Butterfly Centrefold and Europa tables. The tables sit atop Gerflor or Enlio flooring. For finals matches, the courts extend to 40 feet in length.
Beyond the state-of-the-art facility, a defining characteristic of the club is the aspect of the player-driven club. According to Lie, the reason for the club's longevity and success resides in the members and volunteers. While governing CTTC, its members and volunteers have generated the motivation for ongoing support for the club community.
“The club belongs to the players as it is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and highly supported by faithful members and walk-ins over these many years or decades,” said Mr. Lie when asked how the club operates.
The club has thrived on the player-centric operating system for the past five decades. The facility and personnel that have called this club home have changed many times over the years. To this day, the club players respect and pay tribute to the accomplishments of their predecessors.
The table tennis elites that have graced CTTC include USATT Hall Of Famer John Tannehill, who represented the USA in the Ping Pong Diplomacy. Another great, USATT Hall Of Famer and a 6-time US Open champion Dal-Joon Lee. Finally, the late Bobby Powell, who won a gold medal at the 1987 Olympic Festival in men’s doubles with Sean O’Neill. These players have all contributed to the competitive culture that embodies Columbus Table Tennis Club.
Over the years, the CTTC has displayed enduring ingenuity with its club structure and it has seen a rich history of table tennis talent. It has achieved status as the choice location for the Ohio SQT. Featuring a full array of events in March, the club is eager to evolve further with the state qualifier tournament. The competition is ready in Ohio, and in March, everyone will find out who rises to the occasion.