Getting a taste of the Canada Games experience in 2015 as a 13-year-old, Michael Hiscock of Bay Roberts is ready to come back for more.
An experienced table tennis player who would have been among the youngest athletes to compete in Prince George, B.C., Hiscock is set to once again represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, taking place in Red Deer, Alberta, Feb. 15-March 3.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Hiscock, a Grade 12 student at Ascension Collegiate. “I’m pretty excited. I’ve been practicing a lot lately, so I’m expecting to play a lot better, and I have more experience than the last time I went.”
Hiscock is definitely one of the best young table tennis players in the province. In the years since his first Canada Games experience, he’s had strong results with his paddle. At last year’s Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Deer Lake, Hiscock won gold in under-17 male singles action. Those were his third golds medals won at the Winter Games, as he won two more at the 2014 event (one of those he shared with his brother Nick in the team event).
He’s played the sport for nine years and is part of a competitive family when it comes to table tennis. His older brother Nick was also part of Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2015 Canada Games. Dad Jerry is an accomplished player in his own right, as is Hiscock’s uncle Adam Hiscock.
Hiscock competes once a year at the Atlantic championship for table tennis, so getting to compete at a national level represents a welcome challenge for the young player.
A game requiring considerable concentration and skill, there’s plenty for Hiscock to appreciate about table tennis.
“Staying focused — you’ve got to watch the ball while you play,” he said when asked about what he considers to be a key component to being successful in the sport.
Beyond the enjoyment he gets from playing table tennis, Hiscock appreciates the comradery that comes with competing. He’s known the members of Team Newfoundland and Labrador for years through various competitions. And having that experience of attending the 2015 Canada Winter Games, he knows what to expect socially this time around.
“It’s really nice to go see new people too and meet new people up there, because there’s a lot of nice people you can meet,” Hiscock said.
His mother Nicole Hiscock is perhaps equally excited about the games in Red Deer. She did not get to travel with her sons in 2015, but will watch the 2019 Canada Winter Games in person.
“I’ll be there to get to see him play and the team play, and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
Beyond the upcoming games, Hiscock hopes to once again compete at the Atlantic level and maybe even have a go at nationals. He fully intends to keep on competing once he graduates from high school.
“I’ll be playing a lot when I move away to (St. John’s) I would say,” he said. “Every day with my brother I’d say I’d play.”