Are you ready for the table tennis extravaganza that’s about to hit Winchester?
Press Release: 18/07/2012
Winchester is ready to experience table tennis fever this summer when the national street ping pong festival ‘Ping!’ comes to the city. As part of the festival seven locations around Winchester become home to nine tables free for all to pick up a bat and get playing from 14th July.
Ping! Hampshire will also fill the streets of Eastleigh and various sites across the New Forest, with numerous ping pong tables, bats and balls to get everyone active and having fun.
The area around the tables will play host to a range of events including free coaching, competitions, family fun and an array of social games.
Ping! is an innovative three year project which aims to get as many people playing table tennis as possible across the whole of the UK. It sees a month of activity and tables marked ‘Stop and Play’ set up in unusual and remarkable places.
The seven Winchester table locations are: The Carroll Centre, Winchester Sports Stadium, Middle Brook Street (outside Shakeaway), Tourist information Centre, River Park Leisure Centre, Winchester Cathedral, and Abbey Gardens.
After Ping! has ended all nine tables will remain in the city: two will remain permanently, three will be donated to the South Wonston Table Tennis Club and Winchester Health and Fun Club, and the rest will be donated to local schools.
Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, Ping! Winchester has been planned in partnership with the city council who have organised a programme of events and activities. The first of which was the launch event last Saturday where over 100 people took part in free coaching sessions and drop in games with local clubs. The launch was supported by England star Tressa Armitage and even the Mayor and Deputy Mayor had a time to play a quick game of table tennis in the rain.
Stuart Barlow, Chair of the Winchester & District Sport & Physical Activity Alliance, said:
Ping! will be the perfect way for people to get out and play some table tennis, perhaps even for the first time. Table tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports and we want to get as many playing as possible in the build up to the London 2012 Olympics.’
Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Culture and Sport at Winchester City Council, said:
I am delighted that our city will take part in the national Ping! initiative. Not only will people have the chance to play a fantastic sport for free but there will be a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy the city in a new and unusual way with tables set up in some of Winchester’s most-loved places.’
Last year Ping! placed over 100 tables and the festival saw more than 100,000 people pick up a bat and ball. Now with the Olympics close by nearly five times as many tables will be put in cities from Winchester to Liverpool to Bristol.
For more information about the festival visit Pinghampshire.co.uk