By Eric Rugundu
It began with a simple question. “Oh, so you play table tennis?”, asked Peter Mardle, Associate Engineer at Cundall. And so, from an innocent conversation came an idea to bring together friends and colleagues from the world of building services.
“Who else do we know who plays table tennis?”, was the next question. A few phone calls later and the teams were formed. Enter the challengers to the first ever Cundall Cup Table Tennis Championship. A gathering of 16 players from 6 companies across the spectrum of building services.
The architects were represented by Briony Paul and Graham Smith from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM); the quantity surveyors by Rob Butler and Gary Hoskyn of Alinea; property managers HUSH gave us Robin Walker and Chris Husband; MACE sent the giants, James Pilgrim and Stephen Trench; Knight Dragon, showed up in force with two teams made up of Kate Iarovich, Paul Kucewicz, Patrick Adey, Jonathan Rann; and rounding off the talent were the Cundall teams of Sherif Badran, Andy French, Michaela Bobotova and the Cundall Cup mastermind, Peter Mardle.
A venue worthy of such a prestigious championship was chosen: Bounce Farrindgon, the self-proclaimed “Home of Table Tennis”. The date was chosen and the scene was set for an evening of friendly rivalry. It was at this point that the rumour mill began to rumble. “I hear Knight Dragon is holding try outs” was one sinister tale. “Alinea has booked training sessions” was another. “Perhaps we should practice” was Cundall’s response. The unanimous sentiment across all teams was clear: “We have to win!”
The eight teams surrounded the championship table for the first rounds of play. A tenuous start by all quickly settled as the drinks flowed and some of the best pizza in town provided the energy. The pace of play was relentless as game after game raised the suspicion that perhaps some of those rumours were true. Could it really be that all of these building services firms are harbouring such raw table tennis talent?
After some extremely tight games and dramatic finishes, the two finalists emerged. Knight Dragon had dominated from the beginning and the partnership of Kate Iarovich with Jonathan Rann seemed unstoppable. However, across the table stood the determined duo of Cundall’s Michaela Bobotova and Peter Mardle.
It cannot be overstated. The final was epic. With over 20 of our own spectators and some awed passers-by, the temperature rose during the seemingly endless rallies as the players used their bats to fan themselves, relieving some of the intensity between points. Within each passage of play, both teams alternated deft touches and ferocious slams as they inched their way to the championship point. When the crescendo came, it was Kate and Jonathan who happily accepted the winner’s trophy as Knight Dragon became the first Cundall Cup Table Tennis Champions.
Our thanks to all those who joined us for this fantastic event. It was a pleasure to be in such fine company and we hope to see you again soon for another round of table tennis. And as for those pesky rumours, have you heard that one of the teams is seconding a table tennis pro?
Find out more about Cundall – http://www.cundall.com/