Ping Pong fever hits Birmingham

By on 27/06/2011 in News

This summer 55 ping-pong tables will pop up across Birmingham's landmarks, squares, shopping centres, estates, offices and train stations. 

From Moor Street Station to The Arcadian, Chamberlain Square and Cadbury World, there will even be a table under Spaghetti Junction.

Marked 'Stop and Play', the tables are up for four weeks for all to enjoy, for free and are accompanied by a schedule of events and activities. Bats and balls are supplied; just borrow a bat from the side of the table to join in!

The Travelling Ping Pong Parlour, a table tennis social club on wheels and a new addition to Ping! will drive from London, its host city last year to launch Ping! Birmingham on 8th July, stopping off at Nottingham, Sheffield, Harrogate, York and Hull along the way.

All the people of Birmingham are invited to the launch, which will take place at Victoria Square on 8th July from 11am-6pm. There will be games, bats of different shapes and sizes, prizes to be won and a spectacular match played by Team GB. The Coull Quartet will also for the first time, play a unique piece which combines table tennis and a string quartet, composed by Joe Cutler for the Cultural Olympiad.

As well as free-play there will be a varied programme of master-classes, competitions and free to join activities for all Birmingham tables. Highlights include:

  • The Ping Pong Parlour - A ping pong social club at 37 Corporation Street open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12pm - 8pm - will host a variety of unusual events from tournaments like 'Brains vs Brawn', ping pong bingo, film screenings and ping pong parties
  • Beginners Sessions - Never picked up a bat? Ping Pong skills a little rusty? Come along to our free coaching sessions that'll have you serving like a star and rallying like a champ. Every Saturday in Centenary Square from 2pm to 4pm
  • Find your match - The Dating Game for singles Thursday 21st July at The Arcadian from 6 to 8pm
  • Master- classes - Perfect your backhand smash with our free Master Class sessions and pick up expert tips. Every Wednesday at the Ping Pong Parlour from 5pm to 7pm
  • Pingtecture! - at MADE a showcase of tables designed by architects - 29th August from 5-7pm
  • King Ping! - Step up to the table and take on the city in our Brum wide tournament and be crowned the city's King Ping! Open to all comers on 7th August, 2-6pm the final Sunday of Ping!  (please keep an eye on the website for more details)
  • Ping! Boot Camp - A crash course in everything ping pong from stance and serve to spin and smash. Come along to this free large scale training events every Thursday and Friday evening between 6pm and 8pm across all corners of the city.
  • Ping!nic - Ping Pong fun and a Spots v Stripes tournament for the whole family to enjoy at Cadbury World, Saturday 30th July, 1pm -3pm 
  • Generation Game, Chinese Community Centre Thursday 28th July from 1pm to 4.30pm - Come and play your Aunty or your Granny at this tournament. 
  • Workplace Tournament, Thursday 28th July from 5 to 8pm at Brindley Place - Grab some colleagues, form a team to take on other businesses in this past paced knockout tournament.

Ping! is created by Sing London, the participatory arts organisation and is delivered in partnership with ETTA (English Table Tennis Association). Ping! is supported by National Lottery investment from Sport England, as part of its work to deliver a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Further support this year comes from sponsors Puma, a company who love ping-pong.

Meera Sodha, Ping! Project Manager said: “Putting a ping pong table on the street gives people a chance to connect with other people and the city around them – suddenly everyone is talking, playing, smiling and having fun - it generates an enormous sense of well being. Last year's event in London saw over 50,000 people play ping-pong and we are hoping that the people of Birmingham will enjoy it just as much.”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sports and Culture, Councillor Martin Mullaney said: 'This is a fantastic concept, and I think it's a great way for the people of Birmingham to get active, and have fun at the same time. I look forward to seeing different types of communities coming together to enjoy a universal sport loved by all. I for one will be having a go!”

Thomasin Hummerstone Marketing Manager Puma UK said: “The great thing about Table Tennis is it doesn't require a   lot of skill or performance gear to be able to pick up a bat and have a laugh….Ping is a project that we simply had to get involved in; here at Puma we believe that playing a sport should actually involve playing and Ping!  goes a long way to prove that.”

Richard Yule, ETTA's Chief Executive, said: “After the overwhelming success of Ping London, it is exciting to see the project return for a second year as it ventures north to “Ping” the great cities of Birmingham and Hull. Table tennis can help break down barriers, bring communities together and put a smile on people's faces, so I encourage everyone to get playing and take full advantage of the free tables popping up in a location near you this summer.”

Notes to the Editors

For a full list of Ping! Brum table locations, events and for tour locations of The Travelling Ping Pong Parlour, please go to www.pingbrum.co.uk

For Ping! press enquiries please contact:

Alexa Perrin at APR Consultancy
T: 0203 051 8784
M: 07966 969286
alexa@apr-consultancy.com
 
For Sport England press enquiries please contact:

Peter Dickinson
Head of Communications
T: 020 7273 1800
M: 07977 558 775
Peter.dickinson@sportengland.org

For ETTA (English Table Tennis Press Enquiries) please contact:

James Cornford
Press & Communications Officer
T: 01424 456222
jcornford@etta.co.uk

For Puma press enquiries please contact:
Kate Hasse Lifestyle PR Manager
T: 0207 998 583
M: 07525485552
kate.hasse@puma.com

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