It takes a lot of determination, teamwork, and resources to maintain a successful table tennis club. And, furthermore, one needs a vision to want to expand it to the next level. Since its inception in 2016, Experior Table Tennis Club has possessed all those pivotal qualities. The supporters of this fulltime facility are constantly finding new ways to promote our favorite Olympic sport throughout the greater Chicago Area.
Arcot Naresh is Experior’s Club President. Being an advanced player (USATT rated 2089) himself, he is also no stranger to one of the goals Experior is promoting: cultivating younger talent. His sons Sid (2485) and Nandan (2329) are top junior players who are even achieving acclaim at international events.
Naresh says, “Our advanced Junior group training has 10 players that train 4-times a week. 3 of them are on the National team, with 2 more likely to make it in 2020.”
Apart from junior training, Experior is also attempting to bring in club players.
Regarding promoting both these goals, Naresh observes, “We have a few committed sponsors and the local community has helped drive this. Also, Experior is currently the only full-time club in the Chicago area with 3 coaches providing group and private lessons. We also try to have weekly leagues and monthly tournaments to keep members engaged.”
In order to get the word out about Experior’s as well as other table tennis clubs’ events, the full-time facility has a strong social media presence too, putting up several of the games online. Experior’s website also keeps visitors and members updated with news from USATT as well as promotions of upcoming events like the 2020 Aurora Cup.
As with any noble endeavor, there’s bound to be a few challenges to overcome. For Experior, one obstacle was logistical: there were not enough tables for regular play while juniors practiced on most of them. Naresh observes that with trial and error, the club members modified their schedule so they wouldn’t interfere with the youths’ schedule. Another challenge, Naresh says, is a lack of a full-time coach. Nevertheless, “having 3 part-time coaches has worked out well,” he affirms.
Other challenges have been financial necessities regarding the juniors’ practicing combined with using expensive table tennis gear. These hardships have been mitigated by table tennis equipment sponsor Joola as well as Experior Club itself lowering the price for their training when the juniors increase their progress. Naresh even says that Experior supported a squad that performed exceptional at the 2019 Joola Teams tourney in DC, reaching the quarterfinals of Division 1!
So, what’s next for this ambitious club? As stated before, members of this facility have the drive and vision to expand. Naresh states short term objectives are “to continue to develop the junior program so that more top juniors can train here. We would love to support a full-time coach and we probably could if we grow the program.”
And for longer term? It “would be have a bigger club that can be the center of table tennis action in the Midwest,” he says.
Great job Experior Table Tennis Club in fostering young talent and best of luck in expanding your excellence throughout Chicago and beyond!