Issued by: Julie Snowdon
Marketing & Media Officer
T: 01908 208879
E: julie.snowdon @tabletennisengland.co.uk
8th June 2017
Summer ping pong festival promises to be a HIT!
Ping! is back and bigger than ever, bringing summer outdoor fun and activity to public spaces all over England and promising to make it a great eighth year of the annual extravaganza. An unprecedented 24 towns and cities are welcoming table tennis tables this summer, providing free to use equipment and encouraging everyone to grab a bat and ball and get playing!
The tables will take people by surprise popping up as they do in shopping centres, parks, train stations and iconic locations; creating a delightfully informal, fun and unique experience.
Ping! makes table tennis more accessible by bringing the game into places people already spend time, to inspire them to lead more active, healthy and happy lives. It works, too. There were 1.8 MILLION visits to the tables in 2016, and 2017 promises to be another record-breaking year. By getting the nation enjoying and playing table tennis, the vision is to build a community of participants who continue to play long term.
Four new areas will be hosting Ping! this year; Bradford, Blackpool, Poole and the New Forest. While the Ping! legacy areas, some of which have been delivering the project since it first began, include: Barnsley, Bournemouth, Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Croydon, Cornwall, Exeter, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent.
To find your nearest Ping! location visit www.pingengland.co.uk
The festival period launches nationally in Blackpool on Wednesday 14th June, with a seaside inspired spectacular.
With the famous Tower as a stunning backdrop, St Johns Square will come alive with a multitude of balls, bats and tables providing an opportunity for everyone to come and play. Entertaining the crowds will be BGT finalist Thomas Bounce, who will be attempting to juggle table tennis bats, and a ukulele orchestra. Test your skills against the table tennis robot and watch the professionals as current England player Karina LeFevre takes on former Olympian Andrea Holt.
The town was delighted to be selected to be this year’s flagship Ping! city and launch location and it believes that providing the tables will inspire more active and social behaviour in deprived neighbourhoods.
John Blackledge, Director of Community and Environmental Services at Blackpool Council, said:
“We are looking forward to welcoming the Ping! festival to Blackpool for the first time. It’s fantastic that Blackpool is joining in with many other towns and cities across England and offering free to use equipment for people to enjoy some outdoor summer fun. We are hoping to see as many people as possible enjoy themselves and get involved with a full day of ping pong and activities in the town centre. “
Cllr Maria Kirkland, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services at Blackpool Council, agreed:
“We are hoping that the tennis tables will appeal to both residents and visitors alike, and encourage the community to become more involved in fun and free activities.”
Building a lasting legacy
While the Ping! festival itself only lasts for the summer months, the project is actually the launch pad for long-term change. The tables become a permanent fixture and in constant use in many indoor and outdoor locations for the remainder of the year. Ping pong is fast becoming a big part of the social scene in many communities and workplaces.
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 with the aim to get more people physically active. Ping! is managed by Table Tennis England, the sport’s National Governing Body, and is delivered through a range of partnerships with City Councils, Local Authorities and County Sport Partnerships with hundreds of community groups, businesses and volunteers creating the Ping! experience at a local level.
About Loop and Ping Pong Parlours
Ping! is just one of the initiatives delivered by Table Tennis England to inspire people to lead more active, happier and healthier lives by bringing social table tennis into the places they already spend time. Loop offers subsidised table packages complete with equipment and resources to businesses and community groups, while Ping Pong Parlours can help to transform empty shop spaces into lively, community venues.
To find out more visit www.keepintheloop.co.uk