Mike and Manya Wallenfels have been slicing and slamming on table tennis tables around the world for more than 65 years. They’re now putting their skills to the test by teaching Carlsbad seniors the art of table tennis.
The Wallenfels began playing in their home country of Hungary in the 1950s. They continued their hobby in America and played in a table tennis league at least once a week for more than five decades. After moving to La Costa Glen, a senior living community in Carlsbad, they decided to launch a table tennis class for beginners. It’s turned into a popular pastime for those who attend.
“It’s a sport that makes you concentrate. I love the game.” Said Mike Wallenfels.
Table tennis is perfect for the aging population, since it’s increasingly billed as a “brain sport,” featuring a mix of aerobics, strategy, quickness and coordination. It’s been found to raise levels of proteins that help fend off diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
With the class attendance continuing to increase, the Wallenfels have invited local pros to take on the residents at the community. In April, they invited U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Famer Si Wasserman to the community for a friendly game.
“I don’t think I would still be living if I had not continued playing table tennis,” said Wasserman.
The table tennis club meets once a week. It’s one of the wide variety of activities and outings happening at La Costa Glen. Check out the community’s activities calendar here.
CBS 8 recently interviewed several table tennis players at the community. Watch that story below.