Four years ago in Beijing, Mayor of London Boris Johnson declared: “Other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner.
“We looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to play wiff waff.
“That is why London is the sporting capital of the world. And I say to the Chinese, and I say to the world: ping pong is coming home.”
Table tennis takes centre stage at the London Olympics today with the women’s individual final the first of the gold medal matches over the next few days.
And while wiff waff may have come home, the Chinese have come to take ping pong back in a sport that they’ve made they’re own over the years, being hot favorites in the men’s, women’s and team events.
Table tennis remains a truly inclusive sport which can be played by people of all ages and abilities – from Olympic standard to local communities.
Northamptonshire offers a wide range of opportunities to play, particularly at local clubs, including national champions Westfield Table Tennis Club who play at Weavers School in Wellingborough.
One of the club’s players, Chris Doran, was on the original long list of eight for the 2012 Games but just missed out when it was cut down to the selected four players.
Westfield is offering table tennis sessions on August 28 and 29 for youngsters aged 7 to 14.
The sessions last 2 and a half hours on each day and the cost is just £10 for the two days.
There are also adult beginner and get back into table tennis sessions to try on a Thursday evening from 7.30pm.
Find out more about the club here.
To find out more contact Greg Yarnall on 01604 237133 or email GYarnall@northamptonshire.gov.uk.