Nicholas Flor Wins USATT 90th Anniversary Innovation Contest
by Barbara Wei
USA Table Tennis announces Nicholas Flor as the winner of the 90th Anniversary Innovation and Growth contest. The 90th anniversary contest was held to inspire our membership to build a bright future for table tennis in the U.S. Nick’s video submission highlighted simple but new ways to help clubs engage their membership and build community and belonging, a need that’s so important in today’s digitally connected world. For his wonderful suggestions, Nick receives a year of USATT Pro Membership, free entry into the 2023 U.S. Open and an award plaque.
His innovative suggestions for clubs include:
- Digital engagement (website, social media)
- Activities (regional participation, become the authority for championships)
- Daily engagements with fun prizes (e.g., king of the hill night with a photo with a flag for the winner)
- Digital trading cards for club members
- Create special events for no good reason (e.g., ground hog day, blobfest, at local bars/spaces)
- Greet everyone who comes through the door
- Take lots of photos and share with members
- Make sure all skill levels get attention and have a fair chance at playing
Nick puts all of these suggestions to use at his club, Phoenixville Table Tennis Center, outside of Philadelphia. What started in 2009 with 4 $50 Craigslist tables, using generous free space at a church and 15 people, grew to a 9 table USATT sanctioned club that brings in the most people of all programs to their local recreational center.
Born and raised in Phoenixville, Nick first started playing table tennis in high school when his friend beat him with a Huckleberry Finn book. Since then, Nick has inspired his wife and children to also take up the sport. When asked what advice he would give to USATT clubs hoping to support their members better he said, “be as friendly as possible, say hello to everyone you meet…we never say ‘you can’t’ to anyone who wants to play or compete.” From humble beginnings, Nick also encourages club founders and managers to be resilient. “When I first set out to start our club in 2009, I was told it wouldn’t work…but I started small and let it grow…Our Great of Phoenixville Event only had 3 players last year, but it didn’t deter me, I just thought how big can I make this big someday?”
Congratulations Nick on winning the 90th Innovation and Growth Contest!