Table tennis tournament held in Pleasantville for players with Parkinson's

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A table tennis tournament was held in Pleasantville for players with Parkinson's disease.

The tournament is organized by Ping Pong Parkinson.

The group regularly meets at the Westchester Table Tennis Center. Players from as far as Japan come to celebrate their love of the sport.

One of the organizers says table tennis is a good activity for people who live with Parkinson's disease.

"It involves a wide variety of both physical and mental elements," said David Hill. "A lot of strength, energy, dealing with different spins, different paddles, angles and just agility and hand-eye coordination. I think it's very broad in terms of the demands, so I think that's particularly helpful."

"Parkinson's probably prolonged my life because I lived too fast. So it slowed me down. But everything takes five times more -- to button the shirt, to cut the meal, to talk to somebody, to type on the iPhone," said Nenad Bach.

Bach, originally from Croatia, was diagnosed in 2010, forcing him to put down his beloved guitar after 40 years on stage. Then a friend took him to a table tennis court just for kicks. When he picked up the paddle, he was surprised that he was good at it and became passionate about the sport.

Ping pong sharpened Bach's motor skills so much that he was able to play the guitar again in just six months. He later started Ping Pong Parkinson, an athletic organization in which others with the disease can meet weekly at the Westchester Table Tennis Center for matches and tournaments.

Bach is pushing for the Paralympic Games to finally admit athletes with Parkinson's through his club's activities and accreditation as a sports organization.

There are dozens of people from nearly 20 countries registered for the tournament.

Attendees played single and double tournaments throughout the day, and participated in a singles championship and award dinner.

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