Croydon Ping! pong hits London streets for free summer festival

As the thrills and spills of Wimbledon die down sporty south west Londoners are being invite to try out their own racket skills at Croydon’s free ping pong festival.

Ping! is a national event that encourages people across the UK to get involved in the sport for free, and it has arrived in Croydon for the first time this year.

There are ten tables across Croydon, supplied with bats and balls that will be in place throughout the summer, until August 21.

Sports Development Coordinator for Croydon Council, 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.

“People will also gets loads of social benefits with meeting people and playing for free.”

Ping! was started in 2010 by Sing London – an arts organisation that aims to lift the public’s spirits – and is funded by Sport England through National Lottery funding.

As well as free play, there are also masterclasses, competitions and activities that will take place at the tables over the summer period.

When the festival is over some of the tables will be installed in parks or estates or donated to organisations for community use.

Julie Snowdon, from Table Tennis England, said: “Having Ping! tables in public spaces all over England is a brilliant way to bring about a sense of community spirit as well as inspiring people to play sport more often.

“With social table tennis on the rise Ping! takes the game out onto the streets, where we can reach thousands of people each day.

“There are no barriers to playing table tennis, absolutely anyone can pick up a bat and have a go – young and old, expert and novice, able and disabled alike.

“It’s great fun, good for health and easy to learn.”

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