Watch the professionals firing shots back and forth at a million miles an hour, reflexes tuned to pounce this way and that at seemingly inhuman speed, and you may convince yourself that table tennis is far too complex, fast-paced and physical a sport for you, but you’d be wrong. A confident statement I know, but while you could be 12 years old or 98, able-bodied and fit or disabled, there will be a club, a grade or a fun family gathering that is suited to your involvement in the sport.
Personally I found a love for the game when I was a pre-teen and we made makeshift table tennis tables from books and broomsticks at school, but things have certainly moved on from there. So, whether you intend to have fun with friends and family, socialise at your local club, or compete at a regional, national or international level, table tennis can adapt to any need.
Here are a few ways in which you can get involved.
- Table tennis for kids. Table tennis is a game you can get involved with at any age, really, as soon as you can pick up a bat and hit a ball you can enjoy the sport and the sooner you start the better your chances of honing those natural hand-eye coordination skills. Tables can be set up in relatively small spaces and are often found at schools and youth clubs.
- Table tennis for those who wish to compete. Men’s and women’s singles and doubles, mixed doubles, age group specific leagues and disabled tournaments. There is a competitive level and a club happy to train you to that level to be found round the corner from wherever you are in the UK. Get started and join in the fun.
- Disability table tennis. The Paralympics shows that anyone from any background and with almost any disability can take part in this sport. Organisations in England, Scotland and Wales are keen to encourage and support anyone who is interested in taking up and progressing within the sport.
- Coaching and volunteering. It’s a way to give something back. Youth workers focused on table tennis as part of the sports activities offered by their facility don’t need any specific experience in the sport, just an interest, and if you have a talent for it you can give a little back by helping to train the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.
- Ping pong. Much like table tennis and used as an interchangeable word in some quarters, the sport of ping pong is similar but completely independent of table tennis.
Caloo are champions of outdoor fitness and exercise and one of our specialisations is our excellent range of outdoor table tennis tables, sold to schools, businesses and local authorities. So if you’re an aspiring future Olympic gold medallist or you just fancy a quick knockabout with some friends, then pop down to your local open spaces and see if they have a table (and if not ask your council why) to play on. It’s fun, it’s free and it’s an enjoyable way to stay fit.