Around 450 people have taken part in the first week of a council-backed free table tennis festival.
Last Monday Table Tennis England and Croydon Council installed 16 ping-pong tables with equipment across the borough to encourage residents, workers and visitors to play impromptu matches as part of the nationwide Ping! festival.
The free tables are in locations ranging from shopping centres and parks to cafés and even at East Croydon station, and they will be in place until 21 August.
So far, Ping! volunteers who keep the tables stocked with bats and balls have reported an average of 16 matches per location since Tuesday, plus more than 200 participants on the first day.
As well as free play, Croydon’s Ping! Festival includes masterclasses and a weekly competition at Platform on Thursdays from 12.30pm-1.30pm, plus a competition to mark National Table Tennis Day (16 July) at Centrale.
The tables will remain long after the Ping! festival is over; installed in parks and estates on a permanent basis or donated to organisations for the benefit of the community.
The festival is just one of a summer of council-backed leisure events in Croydon, from this month’s Pearl Izumi cycling races to July’s Ambition music festival.
“This table tennis festival is all about getting people active and having fun for free while enjoying being out and about in Croydon.
“This council is proud to do even more to boost Croydon as a leisure destination, and our residents can look forward to a great summer of even more free events like this one.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
Ping! Croydon locations include:
• Whitgift Shopping Centre
• Platform (Ruskin Square)
• Matthews Yard
• Rise Gallery (St George’s Walk)
• Centrale shopping centre
• Healthy Living Hub (Croydon central library)
• Croydon Arena
• The Queen’s Gardens
Organisers still have one table that needs a permanent home in a shop or community space; contact Barry Lloyd at Croydon Council on 020 8760 5592.
Notes to Editors
Ping! is the creation of Sing London – the arts organisation whose work aims to lift the public’s spirit – and is funded by Sport England, through National Lottery funding, who cite it as one of their most successful participation projects, attracting over 1 million participants to date.
Ping! is managed and delivered by Table Tennis England in partnership with local authorities and a wide range of creative and cultural organisations.
Croydon is one of 19 regions that have been selected to be part of Ping! this year, along with Middlesbrough, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester, Milton Keynes, London, Tower Hamlets, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton, Exeter, Cornwall and Plymouth.
For more information, visit www.pingcroydon.co.uk