We’ve checked in with Peter Thompson at PingPong4U to find out how their plans to introduce Table Tennis to numerous disadvantaged groups is going especially with the latest lockdown creating more difficulties for pretty much everything these days. In our latest blog Peter tells us about the new groups they are working with, feedback from their work and how they are promoting the programme through videos on Twitter each week… also look out for the new Schools offerings too.
In recent months, and certainly now that we are in a new National Lockdown, Pingpong4u is continuing to find new ways of bringing the greatest game in the world to as many people as possible!
Funding for projects
We have continued to work with deprived families in Leeds, Bradford and Newcastle and are continuing to try and access grants to bring people, many of them new to Table Tennis some ping pong fun at such a testing time for everyone. Although it is becoming increasingly difficult to access grants for local community projects, we are always looking to find new avenues to fund our projects… if you were interested in supporting one of our projects we would be delighted to hear from you.
Now we have rolled out hundreds of kits, we need to keep people who have our Pingpong4U Starter bags interested and engaged. Now we are back in Lockdown, we are re-starting our ‘Top Tips’ and ‘Challenge’ videos – these will be uploaded on Monday’s and Thursday’s at 1pm. We are hoping that some top players and coaches will be making “guest appearances”. You can follow us on @PINGPONGFORU and perhaps you could join in the fun and send us your attempts at the challenges!
New schools offer
We have also put together our Pingpong4U Schools Offer. This consists of 10 Challenges that can be played on normal desks in a normal classroom, with subtitled videos demonstrating each one and we have 8 Challenges for students with additional needs and corresponding videos. Schools are also able to compete virtually, culminating in an exciting Virtual Grand final co-hosted by our good friend and Para Table Tennis legend – Jack Hunter-Spivey!
New disadvantaged groups
Some of the newer groups that we are delivering bags of equipment to are homeless men and women, refugees and deprived families. “This is just what we need. We are so bored!” said one delighted homeless man playing on a makeshift table in a car park before Christmas.
Another observation is from a doctor working with vulnerable groups, Dr.Suesanne Samara. She told us, “I have witnessed the positive effect playing ping pong has on their physical and mental health. It’s a low impact but energetic and cerebral game that allows the competitor to engage in a non strenuous enjoyable form of exercise. What I love about ping pong is that as a form of group exercise it allows my patients to laugh and enjoy themselves without causing pain. One of my refugee patients who recently fled torture and suffered significant post traumatic stress disorder and spinal fractures was able to play for a prolonged period of time and for the first time I saw him come out of his shell and smile and laugh. It was such a special moment. I have only ever seen him in pain and tearful or overcome with grief so to see him smile was a moment I won’t forget.”
If want to know more about the work PingPong4U are doing please visit their website. They are currently looking to expand the offering/activities and would be delighted to talk to any TT fans who would like to get involved with training, promoting and/or sponsoring a programme of PingPong4U packs in their area of the UK! Please contact Peter on 07434 530134 or by email at Peter ThompsonPosted on 14th January 2021