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Our Proposal Has Been Submitted

We're delighted to announce that our proposal to have Chandra Madhosingh inducted into the BC Sports Hall Of Fame has been completed, submitted and received by the deadline. Thanks to all who have added your name in support of our project. Now we wait and see…

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Induct Dr. Chandra Madhosingh

Join us in promoting Chandra to the BC Sports Hall of Fame for his lifelong service to table tennis in BC

At the request of Donna-Faye Madhosingh, Chandra’s life partner, Ping Pong In Vancouver is taking on the task of promoting Chandra’s posthumous induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame for his 60 years of work developing table tennis in BC. This would make Dr. Madhosingh the first BC table tennis player to receive this honour. We knew Chandra well. He deserves the recognition. For those who knew Chandra, this induction is long overdue. For those who did not know Chandra, here’s a brief introduction to his life and work.

A Renaissance Man

Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Chandra excelled academically and athletically, becoming a nationally-ranked table tennis player while attending high school in his teens. Chandra migrated to BC at 19 to further his academic studies, and he obtained a bachelor’s in science with concentrations in chemistry, physics and zoology at UBC. While at university, Chandra balanced sports and studies and eventually earned a doctorate in astrophysics. He went on to become a high school science teacher at Britannia Secondary School in Vancouver, nurtured a table tennis program at the school, and in his spare time, Chandra was an advisor to NASA with a specialty in moon rocks.

The Father of Table Tennis in BC

Chandra was widely recognized as the “father of table tennis in BC” for his six decades-long, multifaceted approach to creating development opportunities for table tennis players young and old across British Columbia. Chandra eventually ascended to the highest levels of the sport’s administration with a seat on the board for years at the International Table Tennis Federation or ITTF. However, he began his ascendant career with an incredible amount of volunteer work close to home to grow the grassroots of the sport here in BC. In 1960 Chandra created the once-effective, now derelict, BC Table Tennis Association or BCTTA*. The original version acted for decades to help members across BC become better players. The original BCTTA also nurtured into existence new generations of coaches and officials.

Building The Table Tennis Community Across BC

Through the original BCTTA, Chandra and a diverse group of directors built a support network for table tennis players everywhere by appointing volunteer representatives in all regions of the province with whom he communicated frequently in a pre-digital age through longhand letters and lengthy phone calls. The sport flourished under his administration. There was at least one sanctioned tournament somewhere in BC nearly weekend from September until June. Players carpooled from one region to another to participate and socialize. From the mid 1970’s until the early 2000’s, the BC table tennis community Chandra had helped develop was strong and united.

Nurturing Table Tennis Programs In Schools

Chandra believed strongly in early childhood exposure to sports as potentially life-changing for children, particularly for kids from underprivileged households. He advocated for and designed table tennis programs in elementary and secondary schools. In 1974, with many schools embracing table tennis programs, he inaugurated BC’s largest annual youth tournament, now known as the BC Secondary Schools Table Tennis Championships or BCSSTTC. Now 51 years in the running, the event highlights each year the growth of table tennis in high schools across the province. That same year, he collaborated with recreation coordinator Ray Yee and youth programmer Greg Eng to launch a potent junior development program out of Strathcona Community Centre that for years transformed many downtown east-side kids from restless teens to competent table tennis athletes.

Developing Elite Table Tennis Athletes

As an educator at Britannia Secondary in Vancouver and host to the annual high school tournament, Chandra had a broad view of the landscape of youth table tennis development. Talented kids were encouraged to transfer to Britannia to train with Chandra. Much to their chagrin, he was also a tough taskmaster academic front scrutinizing their work and withholding practise sessions if grades were declining. Many future Canadian table tennis stars were kids and teens under his tutelage during the 1970’s and 80’s. These include Pan Am games gold medalist Eddy Lo, Peter Joe, Robert Chin, Ivy and Frank Liao with many more talented athletes included in his sphere of influence.

* Sadly, Chandra’s BCTTA has ceased to function as a provincial sports agency after being expropriated more than a decade ago by table tennis club owner Amelia Ho and her associates for the benefit of a few instead of the many. Read more about this fiasco in a post coming soon.

The criteria for induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame

In the 2025 BC Sports Hall of Fame nomination form, there are several categories of honour: Athlete, Builder-Coach, Team, Pioneer, Media, and WAC Bennett. We feel Chandra could be recognized for his contributions in either the Builder-Coach or Pioneer categories, both of which would apply to Chandra’s pioneering work to build table tennis in BC.

The Work Ahead

The effort to have Chandra inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame is lead by Madhosingh family friend William Vrabel, a former junior player who in the seventies benefitted greatly from Chandra’s programs. William is currently amassing a treasure-trove of Chandra’s papers from which examples of his work will be parsed and highlighted to strengthen the bid for his induction.

How You Can Help

Please start by voting to include Chandra below. This is a non-binding symbolic effort to demonstrate popular support for his inclusion into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. What’s more, we invite you to share a story about how Chandra helped you, your child, or someone you know. Thank you very much for helping out with this project! We would be very grateful if you’d share this article on social media channels you belong to.

Sharing Some Memories of Chandra

Here are some of your thoughts about Chandra. We have also included submissions sent by in friends, students and players for Chandra’s Memorial post in 2023 on the BCTTA website.

Peter Joe's Chandra Memories

Peter Joe is a former national table tennis team member and the CEO of Sunrise Soya Foods, a major sponsor of the annual BC Secondary Schools Table Tennis Championships and other events.

“I had known Chandra since I was 10 years old in the early 70’s. We stayed in touch since that time and until he passed away in late 2022. Chandra was my TT coach, and teacher at my high school and mentor during my table tennis career and we became lifelong friends thereafter. He was a coach on the historic Canadian Junior TT team’s trip to the People’s Republic of China in 1973 in which I was part of. His dedication to the sport of table tennis for BC and Canada is unmatched. He tirelessly promoted the sport at all levels and he that voluntarily. He would organize tournaments and do press releases to promote the sport. He traveled to all provinces and many countries representing BC and Canada. He participated in the sport at all levels. Player, coach, referee, board and committee member for the table tennis associations provincially, nationally and internationally. He was a household name in table tennis community for decades with his commitment in building the sport. He should be the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He touched so many lives and developed generations of sports athletes in a positive manner. I am grateful for his contribution to the sport of table tennis and also myself as a person growing up and seeing the importance of volunteering one’s time for the community. The historic trip to China with the Canadian Junior Team is documented by the National Film Board. In the short film, Chandra is shown doing his TT coaching of a playing technique to a Chinese junior player. That is a classic example of his work and passion for the sport. I totally support his nomination to be in the BC Sports Hall of Fame!”

Frank and Ivy Liao's Chandra Memories

Siblings Frank and Ivy Liao are both accomplished table tennis players with Ivy representing Canada on the international stage on many occasions.

“When we think of someone influential, someone who took initiative, and someone who cared about the sport of table tennis in our province, Canada, and globally, a few names notably come to mind. One of them is Dr. Chandra Madhosingh, who has tremendously helped both of us in our table tennis journeys thus far.

We first met Chandra while competing at the BC Elementary School Table Tennis Championships in 2009, and this was also a time where we were in the midst of understanding what this sport meant to us. He had good conversations with us along with our parents and helped us to acclimate well to the table tennis community in BC. It was evident that he cared for us and wanted us to succeed, which meant a lot to our family. At every competition that he saw us at, whether it be local tournaments, the National Championships, or international competitions, Chandra always took the time to have conversations with us, ask how we were doing, and illustrate upcoming initiatives that he wanted to introduce to our table tennis community. He was always a huge supporter of continuing to get more people involved, whether that be in individual tournaments, camps or through the school system, and this was evident through his history with Britannia Secondary and the development of numerous programs across the province and country for both athletes and officials.

As we continued to grow older and started to help organize these programs, initiatives and tournaments in the local schools and communities, while also competing at a high level, Chandra was a constant source of strength and understanding. He continually provided advice to us as we restarted the Britannia Secondary School table tennis program and helped us to realize our goal of being a competitive team. He was our Team BC manager at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and supported us as we battled through the highs and the lows of our first major multi-sport competition. When we started to run competitions and our own initiatives related to table tennis, he constantly provided guidance and was available whenever we needed him. He even provided references and helped us in our academic careers as well! He was one of the people that we knew that we could rely on, especially when it came to table tennis and everything around it.

It is hard to admit to ourselves that he’s not here anymore. One of the last times we saw him was at the 2022 BC Secondary School Championships, where he was still umpiring and helping our organizing committee out with running the tournament. The memory reminds us of how Chandra always wanted to help and speak into people’s lives so that they could go out and be the heroes of their own story. And that is powerful. It is clear that Chandra made a huge impact on this sport in our province and country, as without him, we wouldn’t have a lot of the current structures in place where table tennis could be played and enjoyed by everyone. His impact can be found on trophies and medals, and also in the people, programs and communities formed that we all take part in today. This is an eternal impact that is irreplaceable. We will immensely miss Chandra’s presence in our lives”.

Photo of Ivy Liao, Canadian table tennis team member

Philip Cheng's Chandra Memories

Philip Cheng is one of Chandra’s first table tennis students and he continues to stay fit through table tennis several times per week at VTTC.

“I write this as a competitive table tennis player and high school teacher in my youth, who gave up teaching and quit table tennis for about 40 years until I returned to the game in 2017. Thus, what I write is from memory, so forgive me if I get some of the facts wrong.

I first met Chandra when I was in, it will guess grade 6, which would be in 1964 at a table tennis tournament. I didn’t know it was Chandra at the time and I didn’t know it was the Chinatown Table Tennis Tournament, both of which I would determine after I got older. The tournament was held at Gibbs Boys Club in the Strathcona area and consisted of 4 tables for the competition in the gym and one practice table outside of the gym where participants would warm up.

It was in the practice area where I met Chandra, with 3 others. I sat on a shuffleboard table and watched 4 guys play doubles in what I thought was at a professional caliber. They were having a great time, laughing and yapping and they even introduced themselves to me. Chandra was African Champion; another was European Champion and another was US Champion.

So, when I first met Chandra, he was a player, and it was obvious that loved being one. It was this enthusiasm, his sense of humor and his propensity to reach out to kids that made it impossible for me to forget him. When I first started playing table tennis in leagues and in tournaments, I would run into Chandra and think, ah, the African Champion! Chandra was intense and competitive as a player, although perhaps a little too easy to get distracted. I learned that if I was to sit and watch him play, I had better sit still. It would not be unusual for Chandra to miss a ball and then wave his hand and glare at someone nearby who moved, spoke or somehow got noticed.

Chandra was always generous with his time to promote table tennis. I remember Chandra driving me to various table tennis functions or tournaments including this one time to a tournament in Seattle. It was Chandra, Donna-Faye and myself when I was about 13 years of age, in Donna Faye’s beetle. We get to the border and the young border agent looks at Chandra and Donna-Faye and then me in the back seat and he looks at Chandra and starts to ask, is he yours? It wasn’t that far fetched that yellow could come from a combination of brown and white. For the remainder of our trip to Seattle, Donna-Faye, Chandra and I pondered and questioned, how many mixed marriages were there in the world if this is how the Chinese came about?

As I got deeper into table tennis, Chandra got deeper into the administrative side of the sport. First from a local level, then nationally and then internationally. I don’t know too much about such endeavours, however through my experience with Chandra I can only believe that he did so with tenacity, generosity and grace. I do know that with Chandra’s work and influence, I somehow received a sports athletic scholarship when I enrolled into UBC. For table tennis in 1971! How did Chandra achieve this?

Chandra and Donna-Faye were teachers. If Chandra was a promotor for table tennis, he was even more so for education, especially science. He was even a Treckkie. He championed hard work and detested the wasting of time. He took time off from teaching to return to graduate school for I believe, astrophysics. I believe Donna-Faye did the same for graduate degrees in Music Education. What a couple! I also pursued a teaching career and I wonder if I would have, if it wasn’t for Chandra.

I did my student teaching at Britannia High School where Chandra taught under Mr. Parmar, Chandra’s friend and colleague. Chandra at work was not too different from the Chandra at the table tennis club although he was perhaps a bit more serious. He didn’t goof around as much although I did see the Chandra I knew when he was surrounded by his students. I myself was never Chandra’s student in the classroom., however my wife was. She reports that his classes were always interesting, and that Chandra was one of her favorite teachers. She also remembers the way he dressed. Chandra often wore colourful suits and flamboyant ties which reflected his personality. Chandra had both charisma and style

I quit teaching because the Vancouver school district had a glut of math and science teachers after I graduated. I substitute taught for 3 years and then I decided to enroll in business school. Business school was an intense two-year program and near the end of it, Chandra gave me a call to tell me that there may be an opening for a physics teacher. It was a tough decision for me, but the ship had sailed, and I declined. However, I knew that Chandra had my back and was always looking out for me.”

William Vrabel's Chandra Memories

William Vrabel is a life-long table tennis player who skipped several decades before resuming the sport for health and fitness back in 2019.

I was a 13 year old with no real direction, full of anxiety and dread, and I was trying to find respite from a less-than-stellar home life. I did have a smouldering interest in table tennis and having just started high school at Van Tech, I tried out for the table tennis team scheduled to compete at the first BCSSTTC (BC Secondary School Table Tennis Championships) to be held in the gym at new Strathcona Community Centre. For whatever reason, perhaps pity, I was selected and took the last remaining spot on the school’s B team. I did not know how to hold the racquet correctly, and had no definable forehand or backhand strokes. I was essentially a basement player about to compete in a world of real players.

The day of the BCSSTTC arrived. It’s mostly a blur in my memory now. I do recall trying very hard with my limited skills, flailing badly and losing all my matches. I was, however, inspired by the action and the level of play and I must have appeared enthusiastic. That’s when the tournament director approached to invite me to participate in the newly formed Junior Development Training Squad about to meet each Saturday at Strathcona CC. The director was none other than Dr. Chandra Madhosingh who I later learned knew how to spot that spark of interest in children like me. I was beyond gobsmacked. I didn’t know what to say except “Yes, and thank you!”

That moment changed my life. Over the next year or two, I became a skilled player making the BC Junior Team joining awesome players like Peter Joe, Eddie Lo, and cousins Roger and Jeff Woo. I travelled, I made friends for life, the BC Junior Team won the national here in Vancouver in 1977, and I left my teenage years in a way that could be described as the opposite of how I entered: with a new direction in life and a solid belief in myself.

I left table tennis for nearly 45 years, taking up the sport again during COVID, playing on outdoor tables in the wind. Miraculously, and nearly simultaneously, many of my old table tennis friends blew the dust off of their old racquets and resumed the sport, and through the organizing efforts of Peter Joe, we all got together to dine at Sun Sui Wa with everyone’s old coach and mentor, Chandra. I sat next to him at the dinner and expressed my gratitude for that one moment where my life changed all those years ago. That was the last time we spoke. He passed away months later after a short illness.

Chandra absolutely deserves to be recognized as the Father of Table Tennis in BC and formally inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.