The perfect sport for seniors

Dear Editor:

Not too long ago Judith Willis wrote an impassioned letter criticizing the lack of programs (aside from Bingo) for senior citizens in Hoboken. I am not qualified to speak to the substance of her complaints. However, in the course of her letter she lists what she considers to be the current paltry offerings and concludes with “Oh, and ping pong. Ping pong for seniors????”

I can’t let that stand. I say “Ping pong for seniors? Yes!!!!” A few years ago I asked Mayor Zimmer if Hoboken could sponsor some kind of a ping pong program – or table tennis as some prefer to call it. It’s a perfect sport for urban areas and it seemed wrong that the city didn’t own a single table. The thrust of my argument spoke exactly to the need that Ms. Willis mentions: The city had a wide array of physical activities for young residents but very little for older folks. Mayor Zimmer enthusiastically agreed and, with the help of Director Leo Pellegrini, not one or two but six(!) tables were purchased and ping pong was included in the summer calendar. The notice specifically invited those who were 50 years and older. Residents of all ages showed up but the point is that ping pong is, in fact, the perfect sport for seniors. It can be enjoyed with even a limited range of motion and does not require running. It can be played with little exertion or as strenuously as you like. Today there are many folks playing well into their 80’s and even 90’s. Now science has jumped on board with studies suggesting that ping pong is an excellent way for seniors to keep in shape and that the eye-hand coordination required might even help stave off dementia.

So I would like to invite all seniors, and anyone else, to join our third annual summer ping pong program at the multi-service center from 7 to 9:30 starting on July 8th. Thanks to the mayor and Director Pellegrini we have six beautiful tables along with plenty of paddles and balls.

And there’s more! Another city-sponsored activity I’d like to plug is women’s basketball for those 50 years and older. We play every Wednesday evening from 9 to 10 and our oldest member is 75. We’re pretty terrible but we have more fun than you could imagine. If you’re interested contact .


Come out and play!
Diana London

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