Tag Archives: sports

The World of Table Tennis

The World of Table Tennis

By Viraj Ajgaonkar, age 10, grade 6, Mumbai, India

A strategic game with swift moves
that is played between ones or twos.
To compete in singles or doubles,
is what you need to choose.

Played atop on a mini-playground,
with net across the middle.
Holding a racquet in hand,
you simply hit the ball or fiddle.

There is no room for foul
let the game be fair,
Otherwise, you will be warned
by the referee in chair.

Quite popular by the
name ping pong,
It is every boyhood dream to play
as good as Ma Long.

A long way to learn Lebrun’s
signature style of pen-hold,
If one follows a right technique,
am sure you’ll win a gold.

It is rather difficult to play on
Bobrow’s snake serve,
Be as wise as not to hit hard, just roll
and maintain pure nerve.

Some learn forehand while
others backhand faster,
But you have to be competent
in both to be a game master.

Improved footwork and drill
enhances agility,
Rigorous practice
improves overall ability.

With more and more matches,
you learn to tackle your opponent,
And for a game of table tennis
this forms an essential component.

Advancing from an amateur to
professional level drills,
Day by day you learn
better and better skills.

The ranking of the players time to time
switches up-and-down,
You never know one fine day, you will
receive the winner’s crown.

The game demands focus, patience
and cool temperament,
To play in the event to the
spectator’s amazement.

With hours of daily practice and a stroke of luck
you may find a place in the finals
Rejoicing the moments of triumph
by winning glistening medals!

          By Viraj Ajgaonkar, age 10, grade 6, Mumbai, India. He adds:
”Being a sports-enthusiast and an intermediate level table tennis player, I have tried to pen down the nitty-gritty of this racquet game in this poem using ‘simile’ as one of the figures of speech while comparing the playing surface with a mini-playground! I also like to share the experiences that I have had while playing in different level tournaments and the essential requisites with the special mention of the ‘GOATS’ (Greatest player of all times—China’s Ma Long, France’s Alex Lebrun, and Adam Bobrow, American table tennis commentator whom I greatly adore) through this poem. As a matter of fact, I do have a strong bonding, a feeling of camaraderie with my duo (my racquet-ping pong balls) and one can’t deny the fact that a sport teaches you significant skills and life values even at a very early age!
“I like to venture into varied activities and learn associated skills, which I feel is a life-long process. I envision myself to be a world-class table tennis player and grow up to be a sports coach or may pursue sports medicine! I wish to transform my passion into an initiative that would strengthen the feeling of ‘Love Sports’ in the minds of youngsters or rather every common individual.

”I also do a lot of sketching of famous personalities and exhibit interest in playing musical instruments like tabla and keyboard. I have drawn a sketch of Neymar da Silva santos Jr, a Brazilian professional soccer player as he is a great role model for young athletes. He is humble and gives 100% on the field. He posts funny videos of himself on social media and I relate myself to him as he is hyperactive and playful.”

Neymar da Silva Santos Jr, a Brazilian professional soccer player. Sketch by Viraj Ajgaonkar, age 10, India.

Way of Hand and Foot

  Way of Hand and Foot
  By Beau Heese, grade 7, Missouri.
 The judges call my name, and I walk to the ring.
 As I stretch, kicking the open air in front of me,
 I look at my opponents,
 and I analyze their technique. Some are flexible, strong,
 or quick, but we all have one constant—we have trained
 for years. The judges call my name, and I step forward.
 I nervously step into the square ring, and they call in
 who I will be sparring.
 As I see my opponent, my nerves... leave.
 Why now, right before the match?
 As I meet the eyes of the person across from me,
 I see a child, a student, me. We are equals.
 We bow, always keeping eye contact.
 And when the judges say go, we begin.
 But it is not a disorganized fight. It is a dance,
 a tango, of sorts.
 As we shift around the red mot,
 striking, kicking, blocking, I forget
 about the world outside.
 The judges, the scorekeepers,
 the other competitors, all melt away.
 I enter into a new world, a world born out of our dance,
 a world in which we are the only two beings,
 and where our fight is the only truth.
 A new reality.
 Suddenly, a buzzer sounds,
 and I am pulled away as quickly as I arrived.
 The match is over. But I am not satisfied.
 And when I return to my seat, all I can think about is
 my next trip to this strange new world.
 By Beau Heese, grade 8, Missouri. Beau adds, "While writing this piece, I realized how everyone can see the 
world so differently, especially in their teenage years. I hope the poem will show them that everyone has their 
own blessings and problems. Perhaps, it will help others accept different views better."