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10 June 2016, 08:27
More than 20 ping pong tables will appear across Bournemouth from today - for people to play for free this summer.
It's part of a national campaign called Ping! - trying to get people of all ages more active.
You can try a game of table tennis in places like The Lower Gardens, Boscombe Beach and Redhill Park.
Ping! Bournemouth is produced by Active Dorset in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council and Table Tennis England. This summer Ping! will boast a record breaking number of tables, bats and balls bouncing into an unprecedented 21 English towns and cities, bringing with them the wonderful community spirit which always plays a vital part of the festival.
The fun in Bournemouth kicks off with a ‘Ping Pong Bonanza’ today. The Lower Gardens will be populated with ping pong tables providing plenty of opportunities for the public to play for free. Get involved in games, competitions, and even some ping pong magic! Tables will be available to use from 11am in the Lower Gardens next to the Bandstand with the official launch taking place at 12.30pm. The launch will include exhibition matches with Chloe Thomas, British Universities & Colleges Sport Singles Champion & Matt Ware, Head Coach at Dorset Table Tennis Centre, a visit from AFC Bournemouth’s Cherry Bear, who will be representing the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust and ping pong for everyone!
Councillor Lawrence Williams, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure and The Arts, said: “As part of our wider commitment to promote active and healthy lifestyles we are delighted to bring the year’s national launch of Ping to Bournemouth. Table tennis is a hugely popular sport and can be enjoyed by everyone.
"Ping! Bournemouth is about encouraging participation at every level - young and old, novice or pro. The tables will be placed in convenient and accessible places across the town, making it easy for people to pick up a bat and get involved in a fun, free activity.”
The festival, funded by Sport England, is completely free to take part in; there are no catches, no hidden charges – all you have to do is grab one of the bats and balls provided at the tables, find a willing opponent and get playing! The aim of the festival is to get the nation active and enjoying playing ping pong, and to build a community of participants who want to continue playing table tennis long after the festival is over.
Ping! Bournemouth locations include:
Art Café - Boscombe High Street
Boscanova Café - Boscombe High Street
Cappuccinos – Boscombe High Street
Mini Golf – Lower Gardens
Prom Café – Bournemouth Pier Approach
Queen’s Park Golf Course
Tennis Centre - Central Gardens
Tourist Information Centre – Bournemouth Pier Approach
Tuckton Tea Gardens
Winton Recreational Park
Westover Gardens – Central Bournemouth