Table Tennis M1 Captain Sam Hitchen is raring to go, ahead of his third and final Stan Calvert fixture. Before the Northumria skipper came to the University, Northumbria had lost the Stan Calvert for six straight years, however times did change.
“In first year, I got a piece of it and found out how much it meant to the University, what the atmosphere was like and how passionate everyone is” he said. “We won table tennis and we won the whole thing for the first time in seven years. In my second year we lost the table tennis but we won the Stan Calvert again so for me I’ve only known winning in terms of the whole competition.”
Hitchen has lead a four-man team who have been together for two years. Usually different graduation times prevents this from happening and he is hoping their hard work will pay off.
“The fact we have had the same team for two years, we want to end on a high” he said.
“We remember what it was like losing last year and training has gone up a level this year and this last week we have been training so hard. It’s going to be close but we are really motivated.” he added.
Any Stan Calvert fixture is a huge one however there is added value to this game. The points awarded are being doubled up as a BUCS fixture which is significant to both sides, as they are battling closely together in the Northern 1A league.
“It’s definitely the biggest game of the season” he said. “We are close in the BUCS league, both fighting for second place. We beat them in the league 9-8 this year but this is the game we’ve been training really hard for and we are all really up for it. It was a huge game anyway but the fact we are both fighting for second place as well, it’s winner takes all” he added.
Hitchen also praised his coach David Godbold and believes he has been an influential figure to him over the three years he has played for the University.
“A lot of teams don’t have coaches especially other Universities for table tennis none of them have coaches so we are very lucky to have one” he said. Our coach (David Godbold) is brilliant, he’s friendly, he proper gets us going and he creates a relaxed atmosphere. He knows his stuff as well though so he’s a big influence to us and he helps us massively. Without him I think it would be more of a struggle.”