On Sunday 13th August 2016 the A1 Roofing Norwich and District Table Tennis League, in conjunction with the Norfolk County Table Tennis Association and the Local Table Tennis clubs, had the opportunity to hold a table tennis day at The forum in Norwich.

The forum offers a unique and inspiring location for exhibitions, performances, conferences and business events in Norwich.  On an average day approximately 5,000 people visit The Forum for a wide variety of reasons, so it was a great opportunity for the Norwich Table Tennis community to showcase our sport.

Three tables were available on the day for local people to come and try table tennis for the first time, or get back into a sport they had played in the past.  Local coaches were on hand to help out, as well as representatives of local clubs so that new players could be signposted to the club most convenient to them.  A table tennis robot was set up for players to play against which added a fun element to the day.  Top local players Lauren and Neil Charles were on hand to entertain spectators with a top class exhibition of table tennis.

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Some excellent publicity for the day was provided by Table Tennis England and Active Norfolk, as well as through social media.  Live interviews during the day were broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk and local Future Radio.

Players who took part in the day ranged from 17 months up to 85 years, providing that table tennis really is a game for life.  Sienna Charles, daughter of Neil and Lauren Charles, aged just 17 months, hit a few balls for the first time and already seems to be a chip off the old block!

“Overall we were absolutely delighted with the way the day went” said Norwich League Chairman Mark Dare.  “The tables were constantly in use for the whole eight hours we were at The Forum, and we were able to chat to a lot of local people who expressed an interest in playing more table tennis.”

Will the day make a difference to table tennis in Norwich?  Mark thinks it is a step in the right direction.  “Table tennis development is a continuous process.  From the day we will hopefully get some new players to play in local clubs.  We have also got some good publicity in the local press, local radio and through Active Norfolk and Table Tennis England.  It is now up to local clubs, leagues and the County Association to build on this.  Luckily we are in an area keen to develop table tennis so the future looks bright.”

For further details of Table Tennis opportunities in Norwich and Norfolk please contact Mark Dare [email protected] or 07809 838360.