Our Ping Pong Parlour initiative has joined TT Kidz on the shortlist for a prestigious ukactive Award. The programme has been shortlisted for the Activation Award.

The category recognises an organisation that has been running an event, campaign or project in the last two years that has inspired and encouraged people to be more active in any setting: whether that be in their home, in the gym or leisure centre, on the way to or at work, or outdoors.

Ping Pong Parlours are informal table tennis venues for people to pop into and play, free of charge and without having to book, and typically occupy empty retail spaces in shopping centres.

They are open to everyone, but are particularly aimed at those who would not normally play sport, and provide people with an introduction to the sport in a relaxed, informal setting in a place where they already spend time.

There are also opportunities for clubs, leagues and coaches to engage with players at Parlours and offer them further playing opportunities.

Although the project has been affected by the pandemic, with shopping centres closed for much of the past year, Parlours are beginning to reopen and Table Tennis England believes the number of Parlours will return to pre-pandemic levels. In total, since the project started, there have been more than 60 Parlours across the country.

The next stage of the ukactive Awards will see Table Tennis England make a presentation to the award judges, giving more detail about the success of Ping Pong Parlours.

Table Tennis England Programmes Activator Jack Grundy said: “We’re delighted that the Ping Pong Parlour project has been shortlisted for the UK Active, Activation Award.

“We’ve really seen Parlours flourish and develop since the project started back in 2017. We’ve loads of heart-warming stories about how our Parlours have impacted people’s lives for the better. 

“We know friendship groups have formed and how people facing challenges have found life just a bit easier now they have a free physical activity they can do on their doorstep.

“And given everything that has gone over the past 15 months we believe they are now more important than ever, helping to reduce physical inactivity and social isolation. It’s great table tennis is at the heart of that.”

The news that TT Kidz has been shortlisted in the Generation Active Award was revealed last week.