Three Ipswich community groups are celebrating today after each receiving the donation of a table tennis table as part of National Table Tennis Day (Thursday 18th July).
Youngsters at Murrayside Community Centre, Castle Hill Community Centre and the Whitton Youth Partnership will all benefit from the tables, which were previously located at the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich.
The tables were donated thanks to a wider partnership between Table Tennis England and the Suffolk County Council led Most Active County Partnership which will see increasing numbers of tables being located in outdoor locations across the county.
The aim of the partnership is to provide additional accessible opportunities for Suffolk residents of all ages to be active in their local community.
The first locations to benefit from the provision of outdoor tables are Mendlesham, Oulton Broad and Bungay, which becomes Suffolk’s first PING! town and will enjoy a range of activities and events arranged around four outdoor tables for local residents to enjoy throughout the summer.
All tables will have unrestricted access for anyone to use at anytime and have come about thanks to the support of the local town and parish councils.
Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention commented “Suffolk County Council is delighted to be working in partnership with Table Tennis England in order to increase opportunities for people in Suffolk to be more active”.
“Increasing physical activity levels as part of a healthy lifestyle has significant benefits for health and wellbeing, so partnerships such as these – where equipment is placed in community settings – can only help Suffolk’s aspirations of becoming the most active county in England.”
Meanwhile Councillor Sue Collins, Mayor of Bungay remarked “I am delighted that Bungay is part of the PING project and it is great to be involved in bringing something new to the town. Physical activity is important for everyone and this will encourage residents of all ages to become involved in a relaxed and informal way. We hope this programme will be successful over the summer months – especially with schools about to break up – and will encourage everyone to take part. It is good that this will be a free to play activity and hope that everyone in Bungay gets behind the PING project and it is certainly something that we hope to build on.”
Table Tennis England added “Ping! is built around the simple concept of taking ping pong to the places people already spend time, removing the barriers to participation and making the game more visible, accessible and relevant than ever before. “
“Table tennis is unique in that it can be designed into everyday life and played by people of all ages, genders, abilities and ethnicities. We’re delighted to have Suffolk County Council and the Most Active County Partnership join our ever-expanding network of partners delivering sustainable programmes that can be used within communities to positively impact people’s lives.”
Any town or parish council that would like to explore the potential of bringing table tennis to their neighbourhood should contact Phil Lown at email@example.com.
[Photo: Youngsters at the Whitton Youth Partnership with their new table tennis table]