Sport England launched Ping! the Public in London back in 2010, a new initiative to boost recreational table tennis across the Capital, and other parts of the UK.
“We’d like to see ping pong tables popping up everywhere – from village greens to university canteens, and city squares to community centres,” said Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price. “The important thing for any organization applying for a table is to demonstrate that it will be well used.”
In the year of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, a hundred tables will be installed across the capital from Friday June 29th for up to four to six weeks, all of which are free to play and come with bats and balls. The returning Ping! initiative is backed with £280,585 Lottery money and comes from the Sing London, – the non-profit organization whose past projects include London’s Street Pianos Project and Talking Rubbish bins.
The scheme launches tomorrow at Broadgate tomorrow (12-2pm) with a host of ‘Flim-Flam’ activities, such as, masterclasses, tournaments and coaching sessions. Also on offer are Random Acts of Ping Pong, an unusual programme of art and social ping pong, from artist designed tables to Singles for Singles (an event to help you find your perfect match) and Midnight Ping! with glow in the dark balls.
Other announced Ping! London table locations include British Library, Canary Wharf, London Live Sites, Portobello Market, the Roundhouse, Soho Square and Westfield Shopping Centre.
If you’re not in London and would like to play free Ping Pong, tables will be placed in prominent locations across Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham, Brighton, Hampshire, Leicester and Sheffield during the summer of 2012.
Some facts about Ping Pong:
- ‘Flim-Flam’, ‘Gossima’, ‘Whiff Whaff’, ‘Ping Pong’ – whatever the name, it began as an English parlour game in the 1890′s and was played on a dining room table
- The original bat was a book! Today, bats are made of wood or plastic
- Table tennis was admitted as a full medal sport at the Seoul Olympics in 1988
- Current world powers in table tennis are China, Korea, Japan and Germany
- There are currently more than 300 million players world wide, making it the second most popular sport after football
- Table tennis is one of the fastest growing sports in England. 134,900 people now play table tennis weekly, which means nearly 50,000 more people are playing since last year.
We’ve just received an email from a Buzz Patrol reader, Tom Smith, who said that tables installation locations in Liverpool and Bristol have been announced. Details are below.
Ping! Liverpool locations include: Cavern Club, Cream, FACT, John Lennon Airport, Merseyside Ferry and Tate Liverpool.
Ping! Bristol locations include: Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Zoo, Colston Halls, the Old Vic and SS Great Britain.
Website: Ping! England