For this Olympic year, ping pong is certainly coming home. Summer 2012 sees Ping! sweeping across the UK, with 8 cities and regions taking part. Over 700 public ping-pong tables will spring up across London, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leicester and even the New Forest. To join the fun, simply borrow a bat from the side of the table and play ball!
Ping! takes place from 29 June to 26 July with some tables remaining up for the Olympic period. Tables will pop up in city landmarks, squares, estates, shopping centres, as well as BBC Olympic Live Sites. From Leicester Square to Sheffield Cathedral, Bristol Zoo to John Lennon Airport, Heathrow Airport to The New Forest, the tables are there for everyone to enjoy.
Each table has a sign marked ‘table manners’ asking the public to retrieve balls and return bats.
In addition to free play, Ping! tables offer a scheduled programme of activities entitled Random Acts of Ping Pong. These span master classes to musical rap-Ping!, Science singles events. Check the website for details www.pingengland.co.uk
Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, Ping! launches on June 29th with ping pong bonanzas across the country. Ping! London opens in Broadgate with Paralympic players, Olympic hopefuls and a Guinness World Record attempt for ‘Most Participants in a Table Tennis Rally’; Ping! Liverpool launches with the Lord Mayor playing against Everton FC and in Bristol, the whole city will come together for a public tournament.
Richard Lewis, Chair of Sport England, says “Ping! has proved one of our most successful sports participation projects, attracting over 150,000 participants to date. Moreover, our research shows that once people start playing they don’t want to stop.”