Ping pong extravaganza ‘Ping!’ brings table tennis to 27 public places throughout Brighton & Hove this summer starting at the launch in Jubilee Square this Saturday (4 July between 12 – 4pm).
To join in the fun, simply grab a bat from the side of the table and play, absolutely free of charge. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played before, everyone of all ages and abilities can take part.
For eight weeks, from 4 July - 29 August, residents and visitors will be able to play table tennis on 34 tables spread throughout the city, or take part in coaching, competitions (including a best photo competition), tournaments and social events.
Tim Holtam, from Brighton Table Tennis Club which takes the lead in running the festival, said: "Ping Brighton & Hove has grown each year since 2012. Brighton Table Tennis Club have shown the rest of the country how to take ownership of Ping!, make it fun and inclusive.
“It has really put Table Tennis on the map in Brighton and given it fantastic exposure in some iconic locations. Most of all it’s a great way to spend the summer, meet new people and build a strong community."
Councillor Alan Robins, Deputy Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council's Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “The great thing about table tennis is that everyone, whether old or young, with a disability or not, can have fun and get involved. All the evidence shows that getting active and taking part is good for your health and your mind.
“With more tables than any other city in the South East, visitors and residents of Brighton & Hove have every opportunity to enjoy themselves by picking up a bat and maybe making a friend in the process.
“I urge everyone to stop at a table and play table tennis during Ping!”
Some of the planned events include, 50+ coaching sessions (Thursdays 11am-1pm, Brighton Marina), Social Ping! Nights (Wednesdays 5-7pm in Hove Park and Tuesdays and Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm at the seafront Bandstand tables). The full event list can be found at: http://www.pingbrightonandhove.co.uk
This year sees the first ever Pongplexed Ping! Pong Parlour in Brighton & Hove. PongPlexed are running this Ping! HQ, which can be found at 16 Brighton Square in the South Lanes (near Donatello's). It is free and there will be lots of special events. Find out more at (www.pongplexed.com)
Notes to Editors
Ping! is the creation of Sing London – the arts organisation whose work aims to lift the public’s spirit – and is funded by Sport England who cite it as one of their most successful participation projects, attracting over 1 million participants to date. Ping! is managed and delivered by Table Tennis England and Ping! Brighton and Hove is run by Brighton Table Tennis Club, Brighton and Hove Council and PongPlexed
Random facts of ping pong
- According to the Active People’s Survey, 96,000 people now play table tennis once a week
- 19% of Ping! participants were inactive before getting involved in the project
- 96% of Ping! participants said they would play again
- There is evidence to suggest playing regularly can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease
- England won 5 medals in the 2014 Commonwealth Games including gold for husband and wife mixed doubles team of Paul and Joanna Drinkhall
- Ashrita Furman of the USA, holds the world record for table tennis ball spitting: 12.83m! That's the length of 2 buses!
- Fred Perry, former Wimbledon champion, won the World Table Tennis Championships in 1929
- The longest table tennis marathon for a singles match was 132 hours, in 1978
- Table tennis is the world's largest participation sport
- In elite competition, balls can travel up to 100mph and be struck as many as 180 times in a minute - that's 3 shots a second!
- The oldest table tennis player in the world is Dorothy de Low who competed at the World Vets Championships in Rio, 2008 aged 97 years 232 days
- Table tennis became a competitive sport in 1927; before then it was a party game for rich people
- Since table tennis joined the Olympic programme in 1988, China has won 20 of the 24 available gold medals
- The biggest table tennis bat in the world is 8ft tall and has 4,682 pips on both sides. It is made from wood and rubber - the same as a normal bat