PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. For many table tennis players, a typical venue could be a basement with a pair of green wooden boards and a net over a pool table. The Westchester Table Tennis Club in Pleasantville is changing that.
Though it opened in May, the club will hold its official grand opening ceremony Saturday at its facilities from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and play will be free all day.
Will Shortz, co-owner and founder of the club, is excited for the weekend festivity.
"We want as many people as possible to see the facility and one way to do that is to say its free all day and we'll have table tennis exhibitions throughout the day," Shortz said.
The exhibitions will run at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will mostly consist of Shortz and his co-founder Robert Roberts showing many different shots and skills on the table.
Roberts is a three-time table tennis champion of the Caribbean and is noted as one of the top players in the United States. Shortz is the crossword editor for The New York Times and has been an avid table tennis player for years, playing at more than 150 clubs worldwide.
Shortz and Roberts opened the facility in May and wanted people to play as soon as possible. However, the building underwent many renovations and is now fully complete and functional.
"Things took a little longer than I originally thought, but I guess that was expected," Shortz said.
Renovations to the club include new floors, lights, bathrooms, heating and cooling systems and a handicap accessible entrance. The facility is more than 13,000 square feet and holds 18 tables with a lounge, lockers and shower facilities.
The club currently boasts more than 150 members and Shortz believes that number will grow after the weekend.
"I think if people come and see the facility once this Saturday, they'll come back again," he said.
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