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Ping Pong Club is started by sophomores Ali Azeem and Advith Reddy

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It’s a Monday afternoon, and the school day is just ending. The sounds of competitive trash talk and ricocheting ping pong balls travel through the hall. For sophomore students Ali Azeem and Advith Reddy, it’s time for the most anticipated part of their week: Ping Pong Club.

“During tennis season, a bunch of us got together after practice and played ping pong for about an hour straight,” Advith said. “We were talking and saying that we should do this every day after practice and in the offseason.”

They decided to create a club, but before the club could truly begin, they needed an advisor to watch over and lead their group. According to both Advith and Ali, they asked multiple teachers and they all said no.

“We asked around and almost everyone said no,” Ali said. “We started with Mr. Smith, then Mr. Garbowitz, and then Senor Silvestre. We kept bothering Senor Silvestre about it, and then finally, he said he would look into it because it seemed cool.”

Once Silvestre decided to be a part of the club, he asked around for help to get it started. One of the member’s parents, Mr.Fox, advocated heavily for it to be started. It was originally supposed to start after spring break, but the students were so anxious that it started at the beginning of the second semester.

Many years ago, Silvestre and history teacher Steve Labenz put together a ping pong club. It’s now seven years later, and with the help of Advith, Ali, and Silvestre, the club is back again.

“For us, ping pong is so much fun and a unique way to relax,” Advith said. “We all are very competitive and it gets pretty hype.”

According to Silvestre, everyone in the club trash talks each other (in good nature) and are very intense with the winning aspect.

“It’s funny to listen to how competitive they get,” Silvestre said. “They are all kind of friends, and they know each other pretty well. They love the trash talk, and they love trying to win.”

Currently, the prize for winning includes all types of bragging rights, but in the future, the boys hope to get a cash prize involved.

“Everyone wants to win, so the stakes are very high,” Ali said. “Eventually we want to create a cash prize tournament so that everyone gets more involved. I don’t know if that’s even allowed;; but if it is, then it is definitely happening.”

Although many of the members of the club are part of the same friend group, they encourage everyone to join.

Both Advith and Ali say that by participating in the club, they have made connections to new people and began new friendships.

“I have met a lot of people that I didn’t know before,” Advith said. “It’s so much fun, and we are inclusive of anyone who wants to join.”

Silvestre, Advith, Ali, and the rest of the club all meet in the back hall by Room 142 every Monday.

“Mostly, we just have fun when we play,” Advith said. “We get super competitive, and we all love just hanging out and having a good time.”

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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central
Ping Pong Club is started by sophomores Ali Azeem and Advith Reddy