Aylands School in Enfield has been presented with four indoor table tennis tables courtesy of an initiative between the Jack Petchey Foundation and Table Tennis England.

The Keswick Drive School caters for students from primary to secondary aged 16. Established for 40 years, students receive support for social, emotional and mental health needs.

Richard Knight, Vocational Skills Director and PE Co-ordinator said: “Our students love the tables which are used every day from early morning through to after school. We have table tennis lessons on the curriculum and we are already seeing a fantastic difference in our students’ hand to eye co-ordination.”

The JPF/Table Tennis England London Schools programme is made up of two elements, competition opportunities through the Table Tennis Team and Individual Championships with progression to the grand finals, plus the donation of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables.

Mr Knight, who has been at the school for four years, said: “We already benefit from the JPF Achievement Awards scheme and now these tables are inspiring our young people to achieve better standards in the sport. Some students spend 25% of their own time playing table tennis.”

Now in its fifth year, the donation scheme is very popular and so far 1,365 indoor and outdoor tables have been donated to over 273 London and Essex schools on the programme. Over 21,000 players have taken part in the competitions.

Sara Sutcliffe, TTE Chief Executive, said “These tables provide a safe, fun environment for young people to enjoy our sport and we are proud of the partnership between TTE and the Jack Petchey Foundation which is flourishing.

“The table donation scheme and the team and individual competitions have taken the profile of the sport and the standard of play to new heights. They have created a lasting legacy and we look forward to thousands more youngsters benefitting from the programme in years to come.”

On the back of funding generously provided by the Jack Petchey Foundation, Table Tennis England has been able to secure Sports Match funding from the Government which means that even more tables can be donated.

The Jack Petchey Foundation was established in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society and to support them in achieving their potential. It has invested £100 million to a wide range of 2,000 youth initiatives across London and Essex.

Newly knighted Sir Jack Petchey, the 90-year-old founder, is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity. He said: “I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my own youth. It’s a fantastic sport for young people to play and this partnership is popular and growing.”

For further information about the scheme visit www.londonschoolstabletennis.co.uk.