Space Coast Table Tennis offers exercise, camaderie for players of all ages
Are you looking for a low impact sport with a hefty dose of socialization?
Space Coast Table Tennis is open to all levels of participants, from beginners to semi-professionals. There is even coaching available. The club meets on Monday and Wednesday nights at the Veteran’s Memorial Center at 400 Sykes Creek Boulevard on Merritt Island and on Sunday mornings at the Cocoa Beach Recreation Center at 321 Ramp Road.
Bill Mitcheson has been heading up Space Coast Table Tennis for 13 years. Along with Kevin Pollard, Mitcheson organizes regular play for members and evangelizes for the sport.
“What many people don’t realize is that table tennis is the No. 1 indoor sport in the world. It’s really very active,” Mitcheson said. “It helps with hand-eye coordination, and of course socialization, which makes it a great sport for older players, too.”
On its website, the U.S.A. Table Tennis lists benefits to the sport that include increased mental fitness, low-impact exercise, socialization and appropriateness for all ages. The sport has seen a resurgence during the past five years, with celebrities such as Susan Sarandon opening table tennis clubs in major cities like New York.
Mitcheson is proof that table tennis has longevity. He got his start playing table tennis more than 50 years ago when he lived in New England. When he would travel for work, he’d seek out U.S.A. Table Tennis affiliated locations to play.
“I’ve really met a lot of great people through this sport. Our club is so welcoming, too. The enthusiasm for all levels of play is really different here than in other parts of the country where I’ve played.’’
The club’s youngest regular member is 12, and its two eldest are 86 years old.
The cost for playing at the Merritt Island location is $2 per day, and at Cocoa Beach it is $3. Children younger than 12 can play for free.