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What is Table Tennis?

Table tennis is an Olympic sport where two for four players hit a ball with paddles back and forth to each other on a table which is divided with a net.

Players must allow a ball played towards them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opponent's side. It demands lightening fast reactions! The sport is played for fund and competitively across the world. There are opportunities to play in clubs, sports venues and youth centres across the country.

The basics of the game have not changed in essence over the years although the ITTF have always tried to ensure the game remains a contest of human skills rather than reliant on new technological developments.

The National Governing Body is Table Tennis England.

Benefits

One of the main benefits of playing table tennis is that it is non-contact. It is also one of the few competitive sports that requires players to move at speed without straining the muscles or joints through stretching or using heavy equipment. For people returning from injury or the elderly, table tennis tennis can be the perfect sport to sustain fitness levels. The action of having to hit a fast-moving ball with a bat several times a second means table tennis also improves reflexes, eye-to-hand coordination, mental alertness and speed of movement.

Costs

Table tennis is a cheap and accessible sport played. Table tennis equipment, such as bats and ping-pong balls, can be relatively inexpensive to buy, with some leisure centres and clubs also offering a rental service. Hourly rates for hiring a court often begin at approximately £5 per session, although membership deals can create a lower cost per game.

Equipment

Table tennis bats and ping-pong balls

Facts

  • Egyptian table tennis fanatic Ibrahim Hamato lost both arms in an accident when he was 10, but he carried on playing by improvising with his mouth.
  • The first World Championships were held in London in 1926, but it did not become an Olympic sport until 1988 in Seoul.

Campaigns

Coaching Can

Coaching has long been considered to be about the development of skill in a sport. It has been about acquiring, honing and transferring these skills in the pursuit of athletic achievement.

National Programmes

Instant Ping Pong (IPP)

The IPP pack is designed to meet the needs of various target groups promoting the social aspect of the sport as a central component.

Jack Petchey Programme

A London based programme aimed at increasing participation through the provision of indoor and outdoor tables, culminating in London Jack Petchey schools team and individual finals competition.

Ping!

Ping! is a national programme with significant impact and a high level of creative input.

Table Tennis Change 4 Life Sports Clubs

Extracurricular school based sports club programme, designed to increase physical activity levels in less active children.

Table Tennis Satellite clubs

ETTA satellite clubs will offer the opportunity for more young people to play table tennis as regular weekly sporting activity.

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