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June 17, 2009 > ICC First Annual Table Tennis Fundraiser a grand success

ICC First Annual Table Tennis Fundraiser a grand success

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Neeraj Gupta

A whooping $47,000 was raised at the First Annual Table Tennis Fundraiser of India Community Center (ICC). Over 150 people attended the event to show their support for the ICC Table Tennis Program. The one-of-a-kind fundraiser had the country's accomplished table tennis stars grace the occasion with their presence. Audiences were in awe as they watched the champions' display of exciting table tennis matches, just next to their tables, while relishing a scrumptious dinner with a varied menu, to the liking of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Several table tennis training exercise exhibitions and a few warm-up matches on five tables went on continuously between the program's stars. Table tennis Program Director Rajul Sheth and ICC Co-Founder Anil Godhwani displayed a spell-binding match. Godhwani and Lily Zhang played against former California state controller and supporter of the program, Steve Westly, and Ariel Hsing in an exciting celebrity doubles match. Young players, Lily Zhang (12), Ariel Hsing (13), exuded high-energy, displaying the level of skill acquired by years of practice at ICC Table Tennis.

Mike Cavanaugh, CEO of USATT Nationwide, honored Sheth with a plaque commemorating his selection as the National Development Coach of the Year.

"To be selected by USA Table Tennis as the Developmental Coach of the Year is a distinct honor in and of itself," Cavanaugh stated. "To be selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the Development Coach of the Year from nominees submitted by all of the other Olympic Program sports is huge.

"It places Rajul, the ICC and USA Table Tennis in a position of high praise and recognition by the U.S. Olympic Committee," Cavanaugh continued. "I am personally and professionally very proud of Rajul and all that he has accomplished and for that he will accomplish in the future."

Sheth has set an example by starting with a few kids and tables on a small, carpeted floor just a few years ago, and now managing the ICC's 10,500 square foot full-time table tennis club, the largest in North America.

Godhwani and Westly jointly matched every donation up to $20,000 and soon had the table tennis patrons following with their support.

"I would personally thank Bruce Liu for his help in organizing this event, and Steve Westly and Anil Godhwani for their support in raising the donations," said Sheth, who is using the proceeds from this community fundraiser to help the rising table tennis stars reach their fullest potential. "It was the first event of this kind for table tennis in USA. I am really surprised and proud to see that more than 150 table tennis lovers stepped forward to support our program. We will definitely improve our training facility to make it one of the best in world to produce future world champions and Olympians," said Sheth.

Opportunity to get training from World class players and coaches at training camps at ICC began on June 15 and runs through August 28.

"We are looking forward for 11 weeks of learning and fun this summer," said Sheth. "This is the best opportunity for any beginner kids to start learning table tennis at one of the best TT center in North America. We have more than 20 trained coaches ready for all beginner and intermediate level kids.

"We guarantee coach to student ration as one to three, to make sure kids learn table tennis very quickly," Sheth went on. "For our advance level kids, former world champions and world class coaches are coming to ICC. We have also arranged very high rated training partners from India & China."

For more information about the table tennis camps, visit www.indiacc.org/ttcamp.

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