Ping-pong tables rolled out 3 times a week at center

       Table tennis opportunities are abounding in the Westside Community Center's gym at 1628 W. Bijou St.

Larry Rose (left) and Chong Ng of the Pikes Peak Table Tennis Club work with Westsider Shirley Devine during a class Sept. 20. Their only student for now, Devine said she'd like to see others come out too.
Westside Pioneer photo

       If you have spare time Mondays or Fridays between 1 and 3 p.m., up to three tables can be made available, according to Dick Siever, center director. There is no charge to play during those times.
       On Monday nights, classes are being offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (cost $15 for six lessons). Afterwards, anyone can join in open play on six tables until 9 p.m., at a cost of $5 (no charge for the first time).
       The lessons and evening play are being offered by the Pikes Peak Table Tennis Club (PPTTC), which is also letting the center use two of its extra tables, if needed, for overflow players on Monday and Friday afternoons.
       The Westside Center started offering table tennis as part of its fall schedule that started last week. “We felt fortunate to work out an arrangement with the Table Tennis Club,” Siever said. “They've been around Colorado Springs for a long time.”
       Larry Rose, head of the PPTTC, said the informal group has met at different locations over the years (including the Westside Boys & Girls Club at one time). The most recent location was Russell Middle School, but a school site was frustrating because the club couldn't use it when it was closed (such as during summer break).
       Rose, a former Westside resident (now living in Manitou), said he heard about the Westside Community Center from Hong Yu Preiss, a PPTTC'er who is also a center dance teacher.
       Class instruction is tailored to individuals' skill levels. “We'll let anybody in and try to help them out,” Rose said.
       Players will probably like using the six tables the club owns. Nearly new, they were originally purchased by the USA Table Tennis Association for a training camp, Rose said.
       One last question of Rose was why he doesn't use the term “ping-pong” for his sport. He explained that it is actually a trademarked word, “like Kleenex.”

Westside Pioneer article