Council says you're never too old for ping pong

11 April 2014 in Mayor and Older people and Sport and leisure
A campaign to encourage older and disabled people to take up ping pong has been launched in Newham.
Council says you're never too old for pin pong
Ping Pong Newham is part of a national health and well-being campaign that
supports older and disabled people to stay active by taking up the game.

Newham Council is working with the BRITDOC Foundation to introduce the game into community centres, care homes, health centres and daycare centres across the borough’s eight community hub areas.

The campaign has been launched off the back of an inspirational film made by BRITDOC in association with Channel 4 TV, which follows eight people playing in the over-80s World Table Tennis Championships.

More than 120 older and disabled residents attended the launch of Newham’s campaign with young people at the Little Ilford Youth Zone in Rectory Road, Manor Park. More than half signed up for details of where to take part in their area.

Ten community groups also registered interest in setting up ping pong at their centres in Stratford, Canning Town, Forest Gate, Manor Park and Upton Park. Each received a free starter pack containing a DVD, bats, balls and a net.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales attended the launch with Newham councillors. It also included a range of information about support available from Newham’s health and social care services. There were also fun activities, including line dancing, reflexology, henna painting and drummers.

Sir Robin said: “It is important that we keep our older and disabled people active and connected. Playing the game can help with mobility issues by improving your balance. Even learning how to hold the bat steady can really improve people’s confidence. It’s never too late to start. Anyone can play and it’s a great way keep body and mind healthy, stay fit and make new friends.”