2016 DREAM Open
By Angela Guan
On January 1st, 2016, the first DREAM Open took place at Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club (SVTTC) in Milpitas, CA. At 8:30 am on New Years Day, dedicated players, parents, volunteers, and sponsors arrived eagerly at the club to start their new year with table tennis and to support the charity event. Near the main street, a volunteer directed cars toward the DREAM Open venue, and walking into the warm club, players were welcomed by Paddle Palace, Butterfly, Super Micro, Chi-Tzu, and American Ginseng banners. Near the control desk, more banners were hung up against the wall of SVTTC. Volunteers directed a speedy check-in, giving each player a folder holding their player number, draws, schedules, and a raffle ticket. The club was neatly organized with colorful aprons covering seats that lined the walls for spectators. This was the first time middle and high school students stepped up to host a charity tournament on New Years Day, and many sponsors supported this tournament, helping to promote this sport of table tennis.
By 8:45am, fifteen tables began to fill up with players warming up. Amanda Chou, Stephanie Chen, and other volunteers brought a folder to each table with a match sheet, and the girls distributed Nittaku Premium balls numbered in empty egg cartons. When matches began promptly at 9 am, the excitement and competitive fun kicked off. The DREAM Open consisted of 48 players, who were divided into round robins of three each. After the group stage, everybody advanced on into according A, B, C single elimination divisions. The first place of each round robin was A, the second place was B, and the third was C. Young children were challenging adults, and friends cheered each other on. Early in the morning of the new year, parents clapped for their children as a new day full of table tennis began. Many families spent their new years day together enjoying friendships and fun in table tennis.
After many matches, each divisions’ top eight remained, and volunteers as well as other children from SVTTC helped with scorekeeping in quarterfinals and on. The crowds cheered and gathered toward the center tables. In the Division A quarterfinals, William Bai upset top seed Victor Liu 3:1. In the semi-finals of Division A, Rachel Sung defeated William Bai 3:2, and James Goodwin upset Angela Guan 3:2. Divisions A, B, and C played simultaneous finals: Rachel Sung won James Goodwin in Division A; Sanjay Aayush won Wilson Tsao in Division B; Anastasia Wang won William He in Division C. Congratulations to top three winners in all divisions!
By the afternoon, the matches concluded, and the organizing girls hosted a charity auction to raise money for less fortunate children in Africa via the Tzu-Chi foundation. All the money from the tournament went to support poor children and to give them an opportunity. Finally, the organizers held a raffle for gifts from the sponsors and gave cash prizes and trophies to all the winners. The grand final of the donations amounted to $6791, including from sponsors and cash auction! These will sponsor children in Africa so they might also have funds and opportunities like we do in USA.
This tournament turned out to be a great success. It was the first time that the tournament was run only by middle and high school students. Furthermore, they reached out to seek sponsors to fund the tournament, raising money with a final goal of a charity event for poor children overseas. The DREAM Open could not have been so successful without the hard work, preparations, teamwork, and effort of Amanda Chou, Founder and President of BASIS Table Tennis Club and Stephanie Chen, Vice President of BASIS Table Tennis Club and their parents—especially Amanda’s mother Sophy Chou and Stephanie’s mother Gloria Sun, the VP of Super Micro. Furthermore, the volunteers and staff worked together running the all-day tournament smoothly this team consisted of Trinity Sung, Amy Wang, Luvena Huo, Kevin Shen, and many others who pitched in.
Finally, this DREAM Open paved a way for more opportunities to promote table tennis in the United States. Without the sponsors, the tournament would not have turned out the way it did. Thank you to the Platinum sponsors SVTTC, Asian Dream Foundation, Tzu-Chi Foundation and other sponsors: Paddle Palace, Super Micro, Hsu’s Root to Health, Bright Heart Yoga Studio, Starbucks, Ranch 99 Market, and Safeway. We are looking forward to opening new doors for table tennis to prosper in the US in 2016. Join us for the next DREAM Open!
Check out the website for full results, pictures, videos and more information: http://www.amandachou.com/.
- Group A 1st: Rachel Sung
- Group A 2nd: James Goodwin III
- Group A 3rd: Angela Guan
- Group B 1st: Sanjay Aayush
- Group B 2nd: Wilson Tsao
- Group B 3rd: Chenguang Zhu
- Group C 1st: Anastasia Wang
- Group C 2nd: William He
- Group C 3rd: Sai Lee