The nation will be going batty again this summer when Ping! - the free street table tennis festival - bounces back for the sixth year running, now in 19 towns and cities.
The ping pong extravaganza brings table tennis to remarkable and surprising public places nationwide, from The Watering Hole bar on Perranporth Beach, Britain’s longest outdoor swimming pool in Cambridge, the National Trust gardens at Tressilick to Game City in Nottingham and more. The tables pop up in popular thoroughfares and prove just too tempting to resist; to join in the fun, simply grab a bat from the side of the table and play – absolutely free of charge!
A record 19 towns and cities are hosting the Ping! festival this year, including ping pong in the streets of Brighton, Liverpool, London, Milton Keynes and Nottingham. Joining the Ping! experience for the first time this summer are Chelmsford, Croydon and Tower Hamlets. All excited to be offering the project to their local communities, and to be putting their own unique spin on Ping! Visit pingengland.co.uk for the full list.
As well as free play, each ping pong table feature ‘Random Acts of Ping Pong’, a varied programme of master classes, competitions and free to join activities. The 1,000 tables will remain long after the Ping! festival is over; installed in parks and estates on a permanent basis or donated to organisations for the benefit of the community.
Ping! 2015 launches nationally on Saturday 13th June 2015 in the new Ping! city of Plymouth. The amazing launch event will take place on the Armada Way Piazza, right in the heart of the city centre. Under the backdrop of the big screen, a circular bespoke lighthouse inspired ping pong table will take centre stage, with a further 16 tables featuring free play, grudge matches between local councillors, Plymouth Argyle’s mascot Pilgrim Pete, local table tennis stars, and organised fun and games.
Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “It’s fantastic that Plymouth has been chosen for the launch of this year’s Ping! festival, which will provide a variety of free fun table tennis opportunities over the eight weeks. Table tennis is easy to learn and great for improving mental wellbeing and physical health. Best of all it’s fun to play and I'm looking forward to picking up a bat and having a go myself!"
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 in partnership with local authorities and a wide range of creative and cultural organisations.
Ping! Press Enquiries: Julie Snowdon
email@example.com or 01908 208879
Find out more at www.pingengland.co.uk
Notes to Editors
Ping! is funded by Sport England through National Lottery funding as part of their aim to get more people playing sport for at least 30 minutes, once a week and is delivered by Table Tennis England.
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 medal
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