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Club Feature of the Week (4): Atlanta Georgia Table Tennis Association

By Michael Reff | March 31, 2020, 1:30 p.m. (ET)

 

The Atlanta Georgia Table Tennis Association (AGTTA) is known in the Southeast region to be a top-notch facility, delivering unique quality tournaments, ranging from charity events to collegiate table tennis regionals, and everything in between.

Established in 1960, and a nonprofit corporation since 2010, the organization is in Norcross, GA at the Lucky Shoals Community Center and is home to 18 tables. The club would normally be available for open and league play on Tuesday evenings, as well as open play and free coaching on Sunday, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, the organization is temporarily closed.

There have been several past presidents of the club, one such is renowned coach Richard McAfee, currently residing in Colorado. I had the pleasure of visiting the AGTTA in the early 2000’s back when I barely had a USATT rating and little did I know that then-President McAfee would pit me against a youth USA table tennis phenom Preston Chin. Needless to say, the outcome of the match for me was not great but it would eventually make me catch the table tennis bug!

The current head of AGTTA is Brian Crisp. He worked his way up from becoming floor manager, league director, vice president, and finally president. He’s passionate about growing table tennis in his area as well as expanding the current facility.

One of his goals is to get Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation to construct an 80,000 sq. ft. fulltime table tennis and badminton building. He’s modeling the inclusion of badminton after the Triangle Badminton and Table Tennis Club in Morrisville, NC which is now led by another former president of AGTTA, Michael Levene. Crisp believes these two sports complement each other perfectly, with goals of running four-star tournaments if the facility were to be built.

In the meantime, though, Crisp has expanded the number of tournaments run in the existing center, from two annual events when he just became president, to six or more. And there are some unique tournaments, one such being an Africans in Diaspora Tournament, currently in its fifth year of existence. The proceeds of the event assist kids in Nigerian schools. This tournament will occur in August.

Another charitable tournament that AGTTA provides resources to is a high school fundraiser.

It usually takes place in mid-March and they raised $2400 in the past two consecutive years. “Give them time and table to do that,” remarks Crisp, referring to the high school students. “Along with some guidance.”

We wish the AGTTA the very best with their plans to expand and promote table tennis.