Calling all basement Ping-Pong players: It’s time to put on your game face and make a pilgrimage to Williamsburg, the North’s new table tennis Mecca. In October, longtime table tennis devotee Don Hayden made good on a personal dream when he opened Hayden Table Tennis Training Center, a family-friendly athletic facility dedicated to building better table tennis players. “I’ve always called it a hare-brained idea,” Hayden says of his vision to create the center. “But I just felt, with the enthusiasm of some other players I knew, that we could make this work.”
In its inaugural year, the center already has a lot going on: available amenities include group and private instruction, professional-taught clinics, leagues and an exercise room, plus, in April, the center will host the state table tennis championships. And while his sparkling new center is home to some serious pong pros, Hayden says he encourages novices—the occasional rainy-day rec-room players—to just come have fun, regardless of their form. After all, Hayden confesses, that’s how he got into the sport—by dinking around on his family’s Ping-Pong table as a teenager. “And back then,” he points out, “all I had was a backhand.” 231-267-5800, htttc.net.