Club development officer Tim Bridle believes he has an ultra-cool way to help attract new players to the sport.

The Cliffedale Chandlers member has designed an Ultra-Violet (UV) set-up to allow the Grantham-based club to host fun, glow-in-the-dark events.

The idea has already proved a success, with interest from other clubs and the local college and coverage in the local media in Lincolnshire.

Now Tim is encouraging other clubs to give similar events a go – and is even offering to hire out his kit to them.

He said the idea came to him after he saw a comedy puppet sketch on YouTube, which was delivered in the dark using UV light, and in which the characters played table tennis.

He thought doing something similar would be a good way to engage new audiences for the sport and address player recruitment and retention issues faced by clubs.

“I wondered if we could actually do this for real,” he said. “This would definitely make people see and experience table tennis differently – I was hoping people from all ages was just give it a go, perhaps as a family, group of friends and we could go from there.”

Tim research and tested the concept under playing conditions, the cost of hiring a disco company for the lights was problematic, so he set about building his own UV lamp rigs.

He said: “We’ve run a few sessions now and its certainly created a stir in the papers and the BBC radio have asked me to talk about it plus the BBC want to get some footage.

“When anyone speaks of it, they smile and laugh and want to know more. The local college is interested in having it as an event for their students and hopefully we will draw new people to the game and the club.

“Whole families come down and in some cases the only time they pick up a bat is for the glow nights – I like to think eventually they’ll do more.”

Other clubs have also contacted Tim for more information after hearing about the idea, and he is offering low-cost hire to other clubs. If you would like to find out more, you can email him at [email protected]