Forget Soccer Moms— Meet Ping-Pong Parents

Immigrants' kids dominate table tennis scene
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2009 1:38 PM CST
Forget Soccer Moms— Meet Ping-Pong Parents
Tawany Banh, left, serves to fellow American Mark Hazinski while demonstrating their skills.   (AP Photo)

Good old-fashioned American sports parenting meets immigrant drive at the India Community Center in the Silicon Valley town of Milpitas, Calif., which is churning out the country’s best young ping-pong players. Top coaches from India and China are schooling the children of high-tech workers who know the drill for succeeding in a tough field. “The parents have competed hard to get where they are,” a demography expert tells the New York Times. “They expect their children to do the same.”

Many young players have Olympic ambitions, but the specter of stereotypes still hovers over them. “Parents are grounding them in sports so the kid does not appear as nerdy,” a sociologist says. Whatever the reason for the boom, Milpitas is now undeniably the place to be. “I had to go to Sweden ” to train, a US Olympian says. Now, “they’ve brought the world’s borders inside.” (More Ping-Pong stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.