Salt Lake City Table Tennis (SLCTT) has been back ponging it up since May 1st after, according to club owner Adam Davis, the pandemic shut down the facility and not as much money was coming in for a couple months. The club has 6 tables contained in 4000 square feet of space, with a unique selling point: 24/7 access to members!
SLCTT originally started as a part-time club in a church. Since there was increased wait time to play on a table within the limited hours and a plethora of folks, the organization made the transition to become a fulltime facility in 2011, called Table Tennis Training and Event Center. Davis took over the reins in 2017 from the previous owner who wanted to retire. They rechristened the club Salt Lake City Table Tennis as well as established the 24/7 special membership perks.
Davis says there are 7 cameras that provide full coverage of who comes in to play throughout the day. “There have been numerous time[s] I check the cameras in the middle of the night to see people playing at 3a.m. and it always makes me happy to see,” he remarks. You can tell Davis is passionate about the spreading the love of table tennis.
Davis started out playing ping pong before truly knowing about the real Olympic sport. As with many of us who had an initial amateur basement career, he, his brother, and friends used to duke it out and Davis was usually the leader of the pack. Later, he was humbled in that same part-time club at the church gym, crossing paddles with a 11-year-old girl who subsequently defeated him mercilessly. Instead of being dejected, his enthusiasm increased exponentially, and he went on to the join the second iteration of the club, the Table Tennis Training and Event Center, that he would later own. The rest is history.
SLCTT has been back in action for nearly a month, with limits on the quantity of players that can enter, for social distancing purposes. Davis is appreciative of his members and other table tennis aficionados that provided a large amount of donations to make sure the club during the shutdown time could still meet expenses.
Furthermore, since reopening, members have helped with ensuring safety protocol to lower risk of contracting COVID-19. He observes, “Again, our amazing members contribute to the efforts by bringing in cleaners and assisting in the sanitizing of the club multiple times a day.”
According to Davis, certain events at his club like leagues have been postponed for the time being. However, there is a tournament on August 21st and 22nd at the Salt Palace Convention Center that one can sign up for on omnipong.com. Also, a weekly clinic has commenced again on Saturday mornings.
Davis has a few words to say for those table tennis fans not able to play just yet:
“As we all know from these challenging times, it’s hard to change our lifestyle and give up things we love, but it’s important to remember it’s the reasonability of all of us to keep each other safe by following the guidance we have been given. Table tennis will return as long as there are those out there that love the game and I know there are a lot of us out there.”
Kudos to a great club owner and facility setting a great example of responsibility and creativity in playing table tennis safely during these trying times.