Darius Knight has never been one to stand still.
The Lambeth-born table tennis player, who is a Commonwealth games silver medallist and represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, has always had a business mind, and his latest venture sees him attempt to bring competitive table tennis to offices across the UK.
The new project, Table Tennis League London, looks to build on the recent popularity of the sport by starting an initiative to get companies competing in a weekly league format.
“I think table tennis is a big trend in this country at the moment,” Knight said. “There are ping pong bars popping up all over the capital, it brings people together and everyone just loves playing it.
“I also believe it’s important in an environment like an office just to have half an hour a day to relax your mind and do something different, but something which has a little competitive edge.
“After each match people will be able to check their stats. They may find, for example, that they are the best employee under 25 in their company but that they are still below the boss overall!”
The idea first spawned after Knight saw the effect the sport had on children when he carried out a similar initiative at primary schools.
“I started this type of score league with the kids first and saw just how enthused they got about playing and competing. They just went absolutely crazy for it and it was great to see their parents turn up and support them too.”
And Knight has no plans of limiting the scheme to just the capital.
“I hope the whole of London, then the whole nation, and, who knows, maybe the whole world gets behind it,” he said.
“We could eventually see, for example, the best company from London competing against the best company from Leicester.”
It is expected the scheme will be in full swing by September, with the finishing touches being put together. Knight seems confident it will be a success for one main reason.
“People are obsessed with stats,” he said. “If you look at a sport like football, everyone loves talking about win ratios, or their team scoring x amount of goals. People like gaining five points, or ten points. Humans love numbers, and I believe that’s why this will be a success.”
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