UW Health Sports Factory in Rockford
The UW Health Sports Factory is located at 305 S. Madison St. in downtown Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The National Collegiate Table Tennis Championships will be held in downtown next year, bringing roughly 2,000 participants and pumping nearly a half-million dollars into the local economy, according to the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The tournament will take place April 3-6, 2025, at the UW Health Sports Factory, 305 S. Madison St. The event was previously held in the region in 2013, and the visitors bureau announced on Monday its plans to return after a 12-year hiatus.

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“April is a great time of year to positively impact our hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions, as visitor volume is often lower this time of year,” Kara Davis, senior sales manager for the visitors bureau, said in a news release. “We are very excited to work with Willy Leparulo, president of National Collegiate Table Tennis Association, and his team to host a memorable tournament for athletes to participate in and spectators to enjoy watching.”

The visitors bureau estimates the four-day tournament will generate approximately $479,253 in economic activity.

More than 250 of the top collegiate table tennis players will represent more than 50 universities competing for national titles in singles, doubles and team events.

The competition includes co-ed and women’s teams, with singles and doubles matches categorized by gender. The participants, aged 17-30, are college student-athletes comprised of approximately 65% men and 35% women.

“We are excited about coming back to Rockford,” National Collegiate Table Tennis Association President Willy Leparulo said in a news release.

Rockford also hosted the America’s Team table tennis championship in May 2023.

“Having played at the UW Health Sports Factory twice, I know what a great facility it is,” Leparulo said. “We are also very happy to be working with the RACVB team and other community partners. Lastly, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge major player Ed Hogshead, a master tournament director in all things table tennis. …

“We expect it to be a successful and fun weekend and are looking forward to hosting this event in the Rockford community in April 2025.”

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at khaas@rockrivercurrent.com or follow him on X at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas and Threads @thekevinhaas

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