Stoke-on-Trent to host table tennis Ping! festival in summer


Table tennis tables will be springing up all over Stoke-on-Trent this summer!

The city has been chosen to host the 2016 Ping! Festival.

It is taking place in 21 towns and cities across England in the summer, with five new locations – including Stoke-on-Trent – for 2016.

The event has been held has every year since 2010, and was set up to engage more people with the sport.

Table tennis tables are positioned in popular outdoor areas, complete with equipment, to encourage passers-by to play free of charge.

Chris Newton, regional manager for Table Tennis England, told StaffsLive: “The Ping! project is an outdoor table tennis project which is quite unique because most people play table tennis indoors.

“We try to put table tennis tables in high footfall locations.

“In Stoke’s instance, through the middle of Hanley or in the main popular parks in town – we put bats and balls on the tables and some people walk up to the tables, pick a bat and ball up and start playing.

“Stoke-on-Trent City Council was quite keen to work in partnership with us.

“As the City of Sport, they’re trying to promote sport as widely across the city as possible.

“We’ve got the same joint agenda of getting people active and healthy and playing sport, in our case, table tennis.”

Other new locations this year are Manchester, Barnsley, Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle and Bournemouth.

Last year’s event saw more than 1,000 tables positioned across the country, with around 1 million games being played during the summer.

Stoke-on-Trent’s event will officially launch on June 10 in Tontine Square, Hanley between 4pm and 7pm.

There will be 29 tables across the city as part of the project, which will be available for use for approximately eight weeks. A full list of table locations to be released nearer the time.

Listen to our interview with Chris Newton, below:


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