Pingpong keeps Sun City Aliante seniors active — both physically and socially

Updated August 7, 2017 - 11:03 am

As white balls flew back and forth on a pingpong table at Sun City Aliante, players maneuvered quickly from side to side. Although some players’ health might be on the decline, many retain a strong competitive spirit.

“What was that?” one player said after he hit the ball into the net, resulting in a point for the other player.

Sam Chin, who has lived in the community for 12 years, said members often tease one another when they aren’t playing well.

“Some people can’t take it, so that’s when we rub it in,” the 78-year-old joked. “They’re all my enemies when they’re trying to beat me.”

Pingpong started as a hobby for Katie Ho and her husband, Richard. But as more people joined them, the couple decided to make it an official club about seven years ago. The group now has 30-50 members and meets at 9 a.m. every day except Sunday, organizer Mike Long said.

Pingpong is one of about 40 activities that the North Las Vegas senior community center offers. Others include bowling, pickleball, line dancing and a veterans club.

Members range from about 60 to 80 years old, and some have health issues. Many said playing keeps them active.

Evelyn Corbitt, 64, who has lived in the community for nearly two years, said she started going to the pingpong club last year.

“I don’t play that well, but I wanted to do something for exercise. I consider running after the ball and bending over to pick it up good exercise,” she said. “Even though I have bad knees, this is still easy enough that I can do it.”

Bill Trigg, the oldest member of the group at 82, said he played pingpong in grade school in his hometown of Los Angeles. He has been a member since the group started. Trigg said he and many other members have made it part of their morning routine.

“It’s not a difficult game,” he said. “It doesn’t take a lot of strength, and you’d be surprised how many people could play who don’t.”

Wayne Headrick, 72, a 35-year veteran of the Air Force, said there are no levels within the club and as long as someone can move around, he or she can play. He participates six days a week and has been a member since the group started, he said.

“It definitely gets intense,” Headrick said. “We’re not very good, but we’re ambitious. It’s more recreational.”

He added that he has seen members improve with practice.

Rosalind Wu, 76, a Taiwan native, said she and her husband, Jimmy, joined for social reasons.

“Everybody here is so friendly,” she said. “We come from all different parts of the country, but we like each other and treat each other like brothers and sisters. Everyone gets along so well.”

Group members often eat meals together, attend other community activities and celebrate birthdays. Long’s wife, Susan, is in charge of coordinating the birthday events.

Xiaoli Huang, 70, who has lived in the community for eight years, said playing pingpong reminds her of home. She and her husband, Zheng Fan, 70, are from China and started playing pingpong in middle school.

“At that time, pingpong was very popular in China, so that’s why we loved the sport,” she said.

They stopped playing when they entered college and pursued careers in the medical field.

“In this group, you never feel like you’re old. You’re still young like 50,” Huang joked about the Sun City Aliante group.

Contact Kailyn Brown at or 702-387-5233. Follow @kailynhype on Twitter.

Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like