The number of people playing table tennis regularly is on the increase, according to the latest Active People Survey released by Sport England.

The figures for able-bodied players aged 16 and over and for disability players both rose in the six months to March.

Table Tennis England is planning a series of initiatives in the coming months to ensure this trend continues.

According to the survey, the number of people aged 16+ who play weekly rose by 4,800 to 101,000 in the last six months. Participation levels have remained relatively steady for the last four years.

The number of disabled players who participate every month rose by 10,700 to an all-time high of 33,000 in the past six months.  This is extremely positive however this statistic has shown great variation over the last four years so significant efforts are needed to move this increase to a continued increase over time.

“While this is encouraging news, we are aware that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure we build on these figures,” said Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe.

“We will continue to promote our participation initiatives, including Loop at Work, Ping! and the Ability Club Support Scheme, and we will continue to invest in improving places to play through our facility grants scheme.

“These projects are all focused on making it easier than ever to play and enjoy table tennis at whichever level of the sport people wish to play.

“In the coming months, we will continue to work with priority zones, will help clubs introduce new satellite sessions and will support club development.  We will be launching a table grant scheme for disability organisations as well as introducing an initiative to increase participation in higher education and an offer for clubs in other sports which want to launch table tennis sections.”

Watch out for the launch of these initiatives in September and October.

Sport England funding for table tennis is linked to growing participation in the sport and the Active People Survey is a key measurement of that participation.

Paul Stimpson
June 11, 2015