Ron Burdo, a dedicated member of the Canadian Chinese Table Tennis Association (CCTTA), has found solace in the sport of table tennis, which has helped him feel accepted in a new country. Born in Israel to parents from Belarus and Russia, Ron struggled to find his place in new to environments, but table tennis has provided him with a sense of belonging and community.
Ron’s journey with table tennis has not been easy. Despite being a top-three player under 10 years old in Israel, he had not played competitively in almost nine years when he joined CCTTA. However, he persevered and has become a valuable member of the club, sharing his experience and knowledge with other members.
One of the events that Ron finds particularly enjoyable at CCTTA is the house league, which he describes as a space where table tennis enthusiasts can gather and share their talents and passions regardless of gender, race, religion, and ethnic background. For Ron, the house league embodies values that are fundamental to community building, openness, and inclusivity.
Despite his love for the house league, Ron recognizes that there are challenges to the format, including the length of the league and playing the same teams twice, which can feel redundant.
His suggestion for next time would be to have only one round instead of two. However, the challenges have not dampened Ron’s happiness in playing table tennis at CCTTA.
He has gained valuable experience playing sanctioned tournaments every week and has formed close relationships with his teammates, who he describes as becoming like family over time.
Ron’s success story in table tennis is a testament to the power of sports to build community and provide a sense of belonging. Through his dedication to the sport and his club, Ron has found acceptance and has contributed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for others.
Stanleyn, Manager of House League & Tournaments of CCTTA