City centre shoppers and visitors will have a ball when Plymouth hosts the national launch of this year’s Ping! festival on Saturday 13 June.
Now in its sixth year, Ping! takes table tennis to remarkable and surprising public places nationwide and has attracted more than a million participants to date.
Plymouth is one of 19 cities and towns hosting the festival this year and has organised an all-day celebration on the piazza to kick off eight weeks of table tennis fun.
The launch event will run from 10am to 5pm and feature table tennis demonstrations, masterclasses and ‘beat the robot’ challenges, as well as a number of ‘Ping Pong Ding Dongs’ – including a grudge match between Plymouth Argyle’s Pilgrim Pete and Plymouth Raiders’ Foxy at 1pm.
People will be able to drop by throughout the day and play for free on one of 17 tables, including a specially made Plymouth-themed round table and Paralympian superstar David Wetherill will be going along to show everyone how it’s done.
New Lord Mayor Councillor Dr John Mahony will officially open the event at 11am, accompanied by Councillor Patricia Nicholson.
Radio Plymouth will be keeping the crowds entertained and local table tennis clubs will be on hand to help organise fun games, encourage people to join in and provide information on the nearest places they can play on a more regular basis.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “It’s fantastic that Plymouth was selected as a focus city for Ping! this year and chosen to host the national launch event. Table tennis is a hugely popular sport and can be enjoyed by everyone – young and old, expert and novice, able-bodied and disabled. It’s also fun and easy to learn, so find a Ping! table near you this summer and give it a go.”
Council sports development manager Louise Kelley said: “Ping! Plymouth is an important part of our ongoing work to encourage people to be more physically active. The launch event will showcase table tennis and introduce the sport to new audiences. It promises to be an enjoyable event so come along and get involved.”
Ping! Plymouth will see free table tennis tables pop up in more than 30 public spaces across the city between Saturday 13 June and Sunday 9 August – from Bretonside to Tinside and Mount Edgcumbe to Freedom Fields Park.
For more information about table locations and events visit the Ping! Plymouth website.