16 July 2013

Table tennis gone batty

Table tennis gone batty – using tools of the trade for ping pong fun

The launch of a city-wide summer programme for a popular table tennis project begins with a quirky championship in the centre of Brighton on Thursday 25 July.

Local traders are being invited to step up to open air tables in Jubilee Square and represent their professions at the launch event of this year’s Ping! programme. Instead of traditional ping pong bats, participants will bring a “tool of their trade” to bounce the little balls to victory!  Librarians will bring their books, publicans will be wielding beer mats, chefs using frying pans and so on. The Mayor will also be in attendance although the bat of her choice has not yet been revealed. 

The fun championship starts a series of free table tennis events taking place across Brighton & Hove until the end of August. The Ping! project is being organised in Brighton & Hove by the council’s Sports Development team working with local table tennis clubs. The programme encourages people to have a go at table tennis to discover how enjoyable and accessible the sport is for all ages and abilities.

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “There is an element of cheeky fun mixed with a competitive streak about the sport of table tennis. It can be played at as high speed action challenge or a calm to and fro volley. The appeal is in the variety and those at the top of their game can deliver some astounding play. I am very pleased to see Ping! back on the streets of Brighton & Hove this summer.” 

More than 40 table tennis tables will be placed across the city in more than 20 locations. Bats and balls are supplied at many locations but to avoid disappointment players are advised to bring along their own equipment when visiting the outdoor tables. All the tables can be used for free. Information on where to find the Ping! tables is available on the council website.

Table tennis clubs across Brighton & Hove are helping to raise awareness of the sport during the Ping! weeks. Many clubs are instrumental in delivering the free events and sessions. Tim Holtam, Brighton Table Tennis Club, said: "Ping! Brighton & Hove was simply amazing last year with more than 35,000 people playing in the space of six weeks in the run up to the Olympics. Ping! has been transformative to the image of the sport in our city and is a fantastic way of people meeting each other and having fun. It is a game anyone can enjoy from the first time they pick up a bat until they are over 100. There are not many other sports where that is possible!”

Events taking place during Ping! include a fancy dress championship, coaching sessions, disability Paralympic ping pong  and a round the table world record attempt. More information about the Ping! programme.

More about Ping!

Ping! is competing against six other ventures in the Best Sports Project category of the National Lottery Awards, selected for the final voting stage from more than 900 nominations. Votes can be placed online. The National Lottery awards are an annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery Funded projects. Each finalist is in with a chance of appearing on the BBC One Show and winning £2,000.

Ping! is delivered in partnership with The English Table Tennis Association.