Ping-pong has always had a bit of a hip following; from famous fans like Damon Albarn and Kevin Spacey, to Ping Pong Parlours popping up at festivals, the sport is enjoying something of a revival. All helped by initiatives like Ping!, the nationwide ping-pong bonanza running until 26th July, brought to you by the brilliant Sing London (remember the singing rubbish bins in the news last year?).
Around 700 free ping-pong tables have sprung up in cities across the UK, including over 50 in various locations across Brighton and Hove. Find tables at Preston Park, Brighton Seafront, Withdean Sports Complex, Hove Park, Duke of Yorks Cinema, City College, Hove Town Hall, The Level, Jubilee Square and Brighton Sailing Club.
In addition to free play, Ping! offers a scheduled programme of events entitled ‘Random Acts of Ping Pong’. These include coaching master classes, a fancy dress tournament at Paddle Round the Pier, Ping! Triathalon and a ping-pong party at Ouch! bar.
There are only a few rules: retrieve any lost balls, return the bats at the end of your game, don’t hog the table and maybe ask a stranger to join you for a tournament. This initiative is all about brining out the best in people, crossing cultures and age divides, lifting the public spirit and connecting people to their environment. If it’s good enough for Daman Albarn, then it’s good enough for us.
To find out table locations and details of events go to www.pingengland.co.uk.