Paul Martin knows how to play ping-pong.
In fact, the 75 year old is a champion at the game and is now embarking on a project he believes has the potential to pass his love of table tennis to the next generation.
He and Ray Yee, one of the education assistants at EMCS, have initiated the formation of a ping-pong club that will meet at the community school to provide a half hour of instruction and an hour and a half of play three times a week.
The group will meet every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at EMCS.
The program is a community program operating under the auspices of the EMCS Society and is not formally affiliated with the school.
It will begin on Feb. 6 and run until March 15 (at which time it will seek renewal of their time slots following spring break).
Martin said that he wants the club to not only teach table tennis but to provide a place where the community’s youth can come and just enjoy the game while meeting with friends and just having fun.
“It’s a great activity and a lot of fun, and I can see this club appealing not only to youth but to adults. It would be great to see young people come down with their parents and enjoy the game,” Martin said.
In an effort to promote the club to community youth, Martin put on a demonstration at EMCS during the lunch hour on Wednesday.
Danica Robirtis, a physical education teacher at the school put her ping-pong prowess to the test, challenging Martin to a game.
“It was way harder than I expected, but I had fun regardless. He is just so good,” said Robirtis after going down to a significant defeat at the hands of the septuagenarian.
“He’s just so quick and it’s hard to react to it. It’s really tough.”
In another game, Daichi Fukudo, a student at EMCS, challenged Martin and caught the interest of bystanders as he displayed obvious knowledge and skill at the game.
He lost, but smiled as he vowed to play Martin again.
“He’s very good. I can’t believe he’s 75 years old,” said Fukudo.
Anyone interested in the table tennis club can contact the EMCS Society at 250 642 6371.