There has been a significant increase in the number of children and young people playing table tennis, according to the latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey.

The survey results, released by Sport England, show that 4% of all children and young people in school years 1-11 reported playing table tennis or ping pong at least once a week. This equates to about 290,000 youngsters.

This is up from 3.3% in 2017-18, which is statistically rated as a significant increase. Participation rates are highest in years 3-6 and lowest in years 1-2.

In total, 3.1% of youngsters reported playing at least once a week in school, the same figure as reported playing outside of school. The 3.1% figure is in both cases rated as a significant increase from 2.5% in 2017-18.

Greg Yarnall, Head of Development and Volunteering at Table Tennis England, said: “These are encouraging figures and we are committed to engaging as many young people as possible, both in and out of school.

“After the first round of our TT Kidz initiative in clubs attracted around 400 youngsters aged seven to 11, bookings are now open for the next round in February.

“We are also piloting TT Kidz with 12 schools with a view to rolling out a nationwide programme which will be launched over the next few months and we have also launched a partnership with Premier Education which has already engaged thousands of young people.

“Our Satellite Clubs programme is also up and running, which has attracted around 1,000 youngsters aged over 11 to participate at clubs around the country.”

Click here to book a place on a TT Kidz programme

Click here to find out more about Satellite Clubs

Overall, the survey found that 46.8% (3.3 million) of five to 16 year olds do an average of 60 minutes or more of activity a day, an increase of 3.6% on the previous year, putting them in the ‘active’ bracket.

The number of children in the ‘fairly active’ bracket was slightly up, while there was a fall of 3.9% in the children deemed to be ‘less active’, who do less than an average of 30 minutes of activity per day. That still equates to 29% of youngsters, or 2.1 million.

Boys are still more likely to be active than girls, while those from less affluent families are least likely to be active, as are those with a disability or long-term health condition and those from a BAME background.

* If you are interested in delivering TT Kidz, please contact [email protected]