Edmonton Open: A Brief History

Did You Know…

that in 1939, local businessman J.C. Burger donated a trophy to the then Edmonton Table Tennis Association (ETTA) for an annual Edmonton Table Tennis Championships?  Mr. Burger was the owner of J.C. Burger Lumber Co. Ltd,  and the prime sponsor of our club’s very first annual tournament, now called the Edmonton Open.  Here’s Mr. Burger’s company sponsoring a sign in Edmonton during World War II, during the early years of the ETTA:

JC Burger Sponsored SignIn the midst of the hard bat era, the first winner of the J.C. Burger Trophy for the 1939 Open Singles Championships was W.A. McGillivray.  Hong Mar, a celebrity in the local Chinese community won the Edmonton Open Singles Championships multiple times in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.  Subsequent winners have included nationally ranked players from the United States and Canada.  Several finalists have also represented Alberta in the national championships and other international table tennis events.

JC Burger Trophy

The winner of the Edmonton Open with the highest ever world ranking (#75) played for Singapore’s national team and won the open title before becoming Canada’s national team coach.  Last year’s winner Nathaniel Curran, from the United States, was a multiple time medalist at the U.S. Junior Olympics and a nationally ranked player in the U.S.

The Edmonton Open has come a long way since the old days of the ETTA.  Today’s version regularly attracts talented table tennis players from all over Alberta as well as competitors from Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, The Yukon and Northwest Territories.  The tournament averages 150 to 200 competitors and is organized to Table Tennis Canada’s (TTCAN) 3-star standard.  This year, a total prize pool of $2,625 is up for grabs with the top prize of $750 going to the winner of the Open Singles division.  There are events for males and females, juniors, novice, intermediate, expert, specific age groups and doubles.

The 2014 Edmonton Open Table Tennis Championships takes place on September 6 and 7 at University of Alberta’s Saville Community Sports Centre.  Registration fee for a singles event is only $15.  Spectators are admitted to the event free of charge.  If you would like to register for the tournament, click HERE.  Learn more about our club and who we are.

ETTA & ETTC

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Edmonton Table Tennis Club (ETTC) is a non-profit society managed entirely by a volunteer board of directors.  We are steadfast advocates for the sport of table tennis in Alberta, providing an affordable means of health and wellness to generations of Edmontonians since 1939.  We host the annual Edmonton Open Table Tennis Championships and Friday night weekly tournaments.  We hold three to four practice sessions a week and offer professional coaching at a world class facility.  We participate in the Active For Life program and partner with local schools to introduce table tennis to the next generation of Canadian youth.  Our motto is “Table Tennis For Life”.

Photos Courtesy of City of Edmonton Archives and Edmonton Table Tennis Club

About J. Kim

Writing about #YEG table tennis happenings. Former nuclear submariner and avid table tennis player. Play ping pong & participate in the world's most popular sport.
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