The Year Ahead – Term 2015/16

The academic year of 2015/16 is a year of change for UCC Table Tennis. Firstly, the reign of the club

has changed hands from the captain of the past three years, Kayrin Ong, to the player currently

undertaking the role, Darragh Buckley. Having been an active member of the Irish table tennis scene

for many years, Darragh brings with him to his captainship a number of connections to the greater

table tennis community in Ireland along with a wealth of experience in both competitive playing and

coaching.

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The club is moving into the new term with a fresh and enthusiastic committee, consisting of

seasoned players such as Colm Murphy (First Year Rep) and Roman Puotkalis (Equipment Officer)

alongside newer club members Sally O’Hanlon (PRO) and Elaine Joyce (Treasurer).

UCC Table Tennis club has had a long-standing relationship with Ballincollig Table Tennis Club, the

most successful club in Munster located in the suburbs of Cork City. For the last 4 years, the head

coach of BTTC has also taught and trained the newcomers and intervarsity players alike in UCC.

Continuing from last year, Conn Higgins retakes the position of coach after a very successful first

year in the role. Two-time intervarsity mens champion Declan O’Brien honed his formidable talent in

the halls of BTTC before going unbeaten in the 2014 and 2015 table tennis intervarsity tournaments.

There exists a friendly, competitive rivalry between the two Cork-based clubs and this shows itself at

many organised matches throughout the year where UCC and Ballincollig players (of which there is

much overlap) battle it out for training purposes and ,more importantly, bragging rights. This

symbiotic relationship between the clubs provides great benefit to UCC Table Tennis Club and allows

collegiate players to benefit from the experience of such an experienced training partner.

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The over-arching goal throughout the year in our club is undoubtedly the Intervarsity Competition.

For the last five years, UCC has put on outstanding performances in the mens and ladies section of

the competition, bringing home silver in the mens team event five years running with the ladies

winning and subsequently retaining gold in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The last two years have

seen UCC take away a gold medal in the mens single competition, a title the club is very eager to

keep returning to the Mardyke.

Now, with a new captain and committee, an experienced coach and an absolute wealth of new,

talented and enthusiastic players, the future looks very bright for UCC Table Tennis Club.

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