As many of you know, I recently announced a new sponsor partnership with JOOLA beginning of this year. As ecstatic as I was about this new and exciting future, one of the things I was most concerned about regarding my sponsorship change to JOOLA was how it would affect my relationship with my home club, ICC Table Tennis. I have been a part of ICC since 2008, for most of my table tennis career. They have remained by my side through absolutely everything. When I made my first and second Olympics, they championed my dreams with high-level coaching and training. When I was struggling with the sport and experiencing a rough patch of continuous losses, they still stuck beside me. Even when I was extremely busy during university and unable to train as much as I wanted, they were there to offer as much help as they could. They were there with me through all of my ups and downs and I certainly wouldn’t be here today without their support.
Furthermore, what I admire most about the club is that they are committed to recruiting fresh faces and new table tennis players every year. In particular, ICC has a summer camp that brings in about 400-500 new kids to play table tennis. From these kids, an average of 50-60 want to continue playing, but unfortunately, ICC can only take in about 20-25 every year. The rest of the kids eventually find other clubs to commit to, but what is actually important here is that more kids are picking up paddles and falling in love with the sport every year. Over the past years, the bay area has become a hotbed for table tennis largely due to ICC’s contributions and efforts to popularizing the sport.
So, when I first heard that ICC was changing sponsorships to JOOLA, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It seemed that everything was falling in line. Not only do I have the backing of JOOLA, one of the most well-known and supportive companies in table tennis, but I am also so excited to be able to continue with ICC. JOOLA has an exceptional reputation for being a close-knit family and for genuinely taking care of their athletes both on and off the table. Even though I have only been with them for about two months now, I feel remarkably safe and comfortable reaching out to JOOLA. Just like ICC, they are there every step of the way to encourage my passions and dreams and it’s extremely reassuring to know that I can absolutely count on them for any bumps in the road I may encounter. It’s the best of both worlds.
With this new partnership between ICC and JOOLA, I feel like I can say that it is another wonderful addition to this big family. This is only the beginning and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us.