Junior National Team Member: Isabella Xu (17) Founds North Carolina Youth Table Tennis Association (NCYTTA) to Share the Joy of Table Tennis

by USA Table Tennis


Isabella Xu did not like table tennis when she started at 9 years old at the Triangle Badminton and Table Tennis center (TBTT). But she soon found her motivation to improve, after placing second to last in her first junior ranking tournament.

“Suddenly, my motivation turned, and I wanted to improve at the sport. I started training more. I gave up swimming and piano. I was more obsessed with table tennis than those [activities].”

Xu loved seeing her own improvement week after week. She enjoyed the challenge of competing against different playstyles and winning against people older than her. It was all very exciting. Xu wanted to do more than compete in table tennis, she wanted to support the community and make an impact through the sport.

In October 2023, Xu founded the North Carolina Youth Table Tennis Association (NCYTTA), a nonprofit organization with a mission to share the love of table tennis with others in their community and globally. The organization has raised over $7,500 in donations to give back to the sport.

“We want to make a lasting impact by growing and giving back to the table tennis community since it's already giving us so much, whether it's health-related benefits, friendships, life experience, or more.” — Isabella Xu

Alongside Xu, Bryce Milford, Vice President (16), Chad Lu, Vice President (16), and Akshat Mallik, Outreach Director (14), are the founding members of the organization.


The founding members initially hosted cash tournaments at Triangle Badminton & Table Tennis and volunteered as assistant coaches at children’s group lessons.

"I thought it would be nice to create a cohesive youth organization here and see what more we can do together in the table tennis community. That’s basically how it began. I got Chad, I got Bryce, and I was like, ‘Oh, we can do this! We're already hosting cash tournaments. We could probably do more.’” — Isabella Xu

Hence, the Sunday Cash4Change tournaments at TBTT were formed with 20 percent of the proceeds donated to charity.

Grateful for all the opportunities and life experiences that table tennis has given her while traveling the world, Xu couldn’t help but notice the difference in conditions for young athletes in other countries.

Expanding its avenues of support for table tennis, the nonprofit sends used rubber donations to Ghana and Nigeria, with 262 used rubbers collected thus far. The organization is expanding to collecting used paddles for their partners in Ghana and Nigeria.

NCYTTA has big plans for the next year. With the goal of getting more children involved in table tennis, NCYTTA has partnered with two elementary schools to establish table tennis programs. NCYTTA has also partnered with Wake Boys and Girls Club to offer table tennis activities, workshops and training sessions, so that those children can learn the sport of table tennis, build a healthy lifestyle and develop important life skills through sport.


Cash4Change Tournaments

Used Rubber Donations

Donate to NCYTTA


NCYTTA donated $1000 to the tournament prize pool and will partner with TBTT to co-host the 2024 Butterfly Triangle Junior Ranking Championships beginning July 20.

On August 13, they will host a Blue Cross Table Tennis Exhibition, estimated to have over a thousand attendees, for the Blue Cross Tech Summit in downtown Raleigh.

Learn More About North Carolina Youth Table Tennis Association