Its not often you get international players playing table tennis inside a large shopping centre in Wigan, but that is exactly what happened at The Grand Arcade recently.
England internationals; Hannah Hicks, Chris Doran and Jack Hunter-Spivey put on a table tennis exhibition in Wigan – playing against each other, as well as against shoppers from the arcade in celebration of this Olympic year.
The three-day table tennis event was organised by Steve Rowe from Wigan Table Tennis Club with international umpire Dave Goulden keeping charge of both the players, and the large audience that had been attracted.
Rowe said: “I wanted to bring an Olympic sport to our town, and of course promote the great game of table tennis. Over the three days, thousands of shoppers tried table tennis and it proved that people just love the game.”
John Sanson, the Arcade Manager, reported that there was an increase in footfall for the three days ahead of any previous weekends in the year. Sanson was convinced the increase in footfall was mainly down to the fact that the table tennis event was on with 54, 709 people in attendance over the duration.
Rowe exclaimed: “The event could have not gone any better. From this one event Wigan Table Tennis Club got 50 new members, amazing. I would recommend to any club out there to stage events like this to increase your club membership, your club should certainly link with all the Ping! projects that are about to start.”
Rowe finished by thanking all those who helped the event take place. He said: “Thanks to Wigan Athletic Community Trust for supporting the event and the Wigan Athletic mascots.
I would also like to thank all the volunteers that helped over the three days, as well as The Grand Arcade for allowing us to stage the event. Thanks too to Michael Moir and Andrea Holt for attending on the Friday.”
After the event’s success, Rowe concluded: “The event proved one thing, people love to play table tennis. I hope now to make the event an annual occurance.”
Watch the videos below from the weekend at The Grand Arcade in Wigan.