Tales of the Table Tennis Tournament

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Board Room Ping Pong, the sixth Office Olympics event took place over the past three days and was the most competitive yet!

At first, some struggled to believe we were playing real table tennis after weeks of archery with rubber bands, discus with mouse mats and javelin with paper aeroplanes. But it’s true, with the exception of the table being a board room table and only playing first to 7 points, it was real.

The first match of the first round was Keiron v Kat. Despite Keiron having never played before, he overcame his confusion and beat Kat 7-6. Following that was Mark W v Chris H, where Mark dominated 7 points to 2. The match between Stephen and Clare ended 7-3. Kerry v Jordan S made an interesting match – being on the same project team seemed to make them ultra-competitive. After a close match, Jordan took the victory 7-5. Regaining her team spirit, Kerry then supported Jordan in his next match, willing him to win for the team! Another same team match occurred between Subham and Claire, with Subham winning 7-2. Nick G’s early confidence was swiftly destroyed by his fast-paced 7-3 defeat by Dale. Natalie Sneddon described herself as ‘on fire’ as she beat Kris 7-3. All that was left of the first round was Nick F v Shui which carried over to day two before ending 7-2 to Nick.

Round two, the quarter final, became intense as the meagre were sorted from the mighty in round one. Mark played Keiron, easily beating him to enter the semi-final. Jordan and Stephen seemed well matched but the win eventually went to Jordan at 7-4. Dale didn’t go easy on Subham, denying him any points until late on when Subham managed two points in a row before succumbing to Dale’s incredible skills. Natalie Sneddon’s self-proclaimed fire was extinguished during her match with Nick, ending 7-3 after some pretty impressive rallies.

The semi-final brought it down to Mark W, Jordan S, Dale and Nick F – four highly competitive players who had dominated their previous opposition. Dale and Nick seemed evenly matched and after an intense game, Dale came out on top 7-4. Underestimating Mark’s ferocity, Jordan was wiped out 7-3. But the game was not over for any of them, Jordan and Nick fought for the bronze medal with Jordan scraping into 3rd place 7-6.

All that remained was the final. While Mark had to rush off for a meeting, Dale was left overthinking it and losing confidence while practicing against Gordon. It wasn’t until the next morning that the final took place. Who would win – the calm and confident Mark or the well-practiced Dale?

Both players gave it their all; it was clear that this wasn’t just about the medal, they were playing for pride. They played an extended match compared with the other rounds – first to 12 points. Dale stormed into the lead only to be caught up by Mark bringing the score to 9-9. Here, Mark’s luck ran out and Dale ended the game 12-9. Special thanks must go to Mark for being so graceful in defeat, throwing the bat down in frustration as the match point slammed past him.

Huge congratulations to medal winners Dale, Mark W and Jordan S! Just two Office Olympics events remain before the prize ceremony on Friday 27th July. For now, those events remain top secret so watch this space!