Ping! Croydon tables summer-long scheme to deliver a smash

A sports participation project has been launched in Croydon today, with a massive Ping!

The Ping! festival gets underway in Croydon today

The Ping! festival gets underway in Croydon today

Launched this lunchtime with a session in the Whitgift Centre, there are now 15 table tennis tables sited around the borough (though only one in the south) for the duration of the summer, at venues as varied as East Croydon Station, Croydon Arena and St George’s Walk.

All anyone who wants to play has to do is pick up a bat and take part – free of charge.

As well as free play, there will be coaching sessions, displays and masterclasses, and a weekly competition at the Platform at Ruskin Square. On National Table Tennis Day (yes, there’s one of those; it is on July 16) there will be a competition held at the Centrale Shopping Centre.

The tables will remain long after the Ping! festival is over; installed in parks and estates on a permanent basis or donated to organisations for the benefit of the community.

Funded by Sport England in partnership with Table Tennis England, Croydon Council’s Barry Lloyd said, “Being a part of the Sports and Activity Team I’m always looking for new ways to get Croydon active, Ping! Croydon is a great opportunity to inspire inactive people to get active.”

According to Lloyd, the venues were selected by a steering group set-up in conjunction with several local table tennis clubs, who together identified and selected a long list of locations. “We contacted many of the locations and some accepted, some declined to be a part of the scheme. This is a three-year project, and will be open to new and more locations in the coming years,” Lloyd said.

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