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 Table Tennis Group

Group Leader: Alan Birchall 01202 986621
Time: Fridays 1.00 - 3.00pm, weekly
Venue: The Edge, Emmanuel School

I have enjoyed a number of different sports throughout my life, albeit at a fairly basic level. My chief claim to 'fame' is completing 3 of the first 4 London Marathons, including the first one in 1981. The downside of this was suffering from arthritis in my left knee, from my late 30's. This has reduced my manoeuvrability in a number of sports I had previously enjoyed, such as tennis and badminton. I had to give tennis up but struggled along with badminton until about 15 years ago. 

When my wife picked up a leaflet about U3A some months ago we both decided it would be a good idea to join. I thought it may be a good idea to try and take up badminton again, with people close to my age, and have subsequently really enjoyed the sessions I've attended. 

At the hall where we play I noticed they had 2 table tennis tables. On chatting with some of the other players they agreed it would be a good idea to investigate the possibility of starting a group for table tennis, if there was sufficient interest from other members.

I have played table tennis, on and off, for a number of years, at a fairly basic skill level. One of the great things about it is that it can cater for different levels of skill and physical condition. With having 2 tables one could be used by those of a greater technical/physical ability and one for attendees of a lesser skill or physical level, which may prevent them from being overly energetic. Again, subject to numbers attending, one table could be used by players with a preference for singles and the other for doubles. One of the major benefits to doubles play is that you know when it is your turn to hit the ball, unlike other a lot of other doubles games!

I would certainly be able to guide and assist any new players to the game and I'm sure more skillful attendees could help coach any player to a higher level, should they have more ability than they thought.

I have found the game to be enjoyable, fun and a good time for developing social friendships. It also allows a competitive environment which requires mental agility but need not be as physically taxing as some other games. 

The only equipment required by you would be a TT bat which can be purchased from retailers such as Sports Direct for as little as £5 upwards.