Volunteers at Vicarage Park Community Centre, Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire, have shown what can be done with a few table tennis tables and an enthusiastic group of volunteers.
The sessions started in January 2019 after Russell Smith, a keen volunteer, who had been working on a project to refurbish the community centre, thought it would be an ideal location to start a social table tennis club.
Russell applied for a Ping! In the Community package designed to help bring members of the community closer together and inspire them to lead more active and social lifestyles.
Since the arrival of the table, sessions have really taken off, with a few members contributing to the purchase of a further three tables. Amazingly membership has grown to 53 including 25 female players, in just 5 months.
It’s been a real success story, with members finding the opportunity to meet new people and play table tennis socially a real benefit. We are now exploring the possibility of starting some junior coaching sessions.
Peter Hoole a keen local player has been offering players tips and advice on how to improve their game, and is now looking to attend a TT England Level 1 course later in the year, to improve his own coaching skills.
Janice, who used to play a number of years ago before moving to London, saw the sessions promoted on Facebook and thought it was a great opportunity to get back into the game, and is now a key volunteer helping with the admin and communication with members.
Martin Ireland, TT England North Area Lead said:
its been marvellous to see the club grow so much within such a short period of time, with players receiving coaching tips and such a good group of volunteers, there’s also interest from some players looking to play in the local league.
If your community group would like to start a social table tennis club, and you would like to know more about our Sport England subsidised Ping! in the Community packages see the link or contact one of our area staff.