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College Scholarships?
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College Scholarships?

Is a College Scholarship in line for your junior?

Here is a list of colleges and universities that have table tennis programs:
Amherst College Amherst MA; Auburn University Auburn AL; Baylor University Waco TX; Boston College Chestnut Hill MA; Bradley University; Brandeis University Waltham MA; Brown University Providence RI; Chemeketa Community College Columbia University New York NY; Cooper Union New York NY; Cornell University Ithaca NY; Dartmouth College Hanover NH; Duke University Durham NC; Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti MI; Emory University Atlanta GA; Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton FL; Florida State University Tallahassee FL; Georgia State University Atlanta GA; Golden Gate University San Francisco CA; Harvard University Cambridge MA; Houston Community College Houston TX; Howard University Washington DC; Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge MA; Methodist College Fayetteville NC; Miami-Dade Community College Miami FL; North Carolina State University Raleigh NC; Northwest Polytechnic University Fremont CA; Oregon State University Corvallis OR; Pennsylvania State University University Park PA; Portland Community College; Princeton University Princeton NJ; Purdue University West Lafayette IN; Queens University Kingston ON; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy NY; Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ; San Jose State University San Jose CA; Sonoma State University Rohnert Park CA; Southern Illinois University; Stanford University Stanford CA; Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken NJ; Syracuse University Syracuse NY; Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth TX; University of California, Berkeley Berkeley CA; University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA; University of Chicago University of Florida Gainesville FL; University of Georgia Athens GA; University of Houston Houston TX; University of Illinois; University of Maryland at College Park College Park MD; University of Miami Miami FL; University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill NC; University of North Florida Jacksonville FL; University of Oregon Eugene OR; University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA;  University of South Alabama Mobile Alabama; University of Texas at Austin Austin TX; University of the Pacific Stockton CA; University of West Florida Pensacola FL; Washington University St. Louis MO; Wesleyan University Middletown CT; Wright State University Dayton OH; Yale Universtiy New Haven CT.

Making a Play for College:
Is there a scholarship in your junior's future?

By Don Patch

Texas Wesleyan Team One of the most frequently asked questions in todays table tennis community is, How do we keep our young players interested in the game? The question is a critical one because our games future depends on recruiting and keeping active young players. Credit is due to the US clubs that work hard at bringing in and keeping young players. Many have successful junior programs but often struggle at keeping their young players interested as they approach college age. The reasons why players of this age leave table tennis vary, however the most common answer is lack of competitive college play. There is no mystery why a player, heading off to a college that has no competitive table tennis program, would lose interest in their sport. Until as recently as 1999 most college-bound players had no opportunity to continue their competitive play.
 
Fortunately, some dedicated players decided they would take the initiative and start their own college league program. Enter the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NATT), a student-run organization dedicated to promoting competitive table tennis at the collegiate level in the U.S.  They were active as early as 1992 when they were know as the League of Northeast Intercollegiate Table Tennis (LNITT). Since then they have grown geometrically and now have over 62 universities across the U.S. involved in leagues-with more on the list for next seasons play.
The NCTTA represents a significant grass roots accomplishment that, with the support of the entire table tennis community, could grow in to an institutionally funded collegiate league, complete with athletic scholarships. Imagine a future world where young talented table tennis players compete for partial or full scholarships offered by colleges all across the country. What would a world like that do for the motivation and interest of young club players? Impossible! you say, Not in your lifetime!
 
To view the future now you need look no further than Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas. It has the distinction of being the first Texas school to offer scholarships for table tennis players. The private school offers full and partial scholarships that can include tuition, as well as room and board.  If you play on the table tennis team you not only get part of your education paid for through institutional aid, you will also receive world-class training and coaching. The team trains one session a day, Monday through Friday, during the school year. The goal of the table tennis program is to have 24 student athletes. As a varsity team member, all your travel, hotel, food and entry fees are paid when competing for the team.

As a member of the NCTTAs Texas Division, Texas Wesleyan competes against the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Baylor University, Texas A & M in Corpus Christi, the University of Houston and Houston Community College. According to Texas Wesleyans president, Harold Jeffcoat, It seemed like a good opportunity for Texas Wesleyan to do something different, to get our name out there in a different way. Its not expensive, and its something we could do well in a very short time.
 
Wesleyans first season is young but the team, coached by Christian Lillieroos, has already had some significant successes. They earned a gold medal for winning the National Team Championships college division in Baltimore, and were defeated by the events open winners in the quarterfinals. President Jeffcoat has said he is surprised at the caliber of players that Lillieroos has been able to recruit. The team includes, Jasna Reed, Olympic medallist in 1988, three-time Olympian and two-time European champion, who competed for the U.S. in the 2000 Sydney Olympics; Rasvan Cretu, a five-time Romanian national champion who played for the U.S. in the 1997 World Championships in Manchester, England; Idan Levi, an Israeli junior national team member; and Eric Owens who is ranked #4 in the U.S., a National Team member, 2001 USA National Mens singles Champion, 2001 and 1998 USA Mens Doubles Champion and 2001 Mixed Doubles finalist with Jasna Reed.

The NCTTA, Texas Wesleyan University and schools like it are providing local table tennis clubs with a unique opportunity to instill excitement and hope in our young players. Their efforts deserve our help and support. We should all become aware of the programs, or the lack of them, at our local colleges and universities. If there is league play at your local college or university, please support it by scheduling a field trip with your juniors to watch a match. If no league exists but you know there are table tennis players attending the school, make sure they contact the NCTTA for assistance in setting up a program.  Contact the NCTTA through their web site: www.nctta.org for program information including league information, competition rules, format and schedule, the associations by-laws and constitution, information on how to raise funds for a program, and a complete member list.

Is there a college scholarship in your juniors future? Maybe, especially if you start working now to bring attention to the NCTTA league play and schools  to colleges in your area. Make them aware of the possibilities!

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