On Saturday 21st April, female table tennis players of varying ages and abilities gathered at Sugden Sports Centre to showcase their skills. The women’s only event was held to celebrate World Table Tennis Day (23rd April) and was organised by the University of Manchester Sports Department (UoM Sport), in collaboration with the Islamic Society (ISOC) aiming to use the sport to promote mental and physical health, rehabilitation and racial harmony.

The community challenge featured two categories (beginner/intermediate & advanced), which served as a continuation of the UoM Sport’s Sporticipate programme where University students and staff are given opportunities to interact with different sports for the first time.

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) played a supportive role by providing the table tennis tables while the Humanities Wellbeing Fund sponsored both the equipment and the prizes. The proceeds of the event will be donated to water and sanitation in Syria (through Action for Humanity).

The tournament, a follow-up of a Sporticipate programme run by UoM Sport was also part of the department’s effort to raise awareness of the benefits of playing the game and encouraging more women to play the sport.

As the organiser of the event and an active table tennis player, I believe the sport can help create a sense of community and nurture racial harmony in Manchester. Through these events, we hope to foster a welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy the game and its numerous benefits.

I would like to express my gratitude towards Haadia, a member of the ISOC’s Sports committee and Melanie, a dedicated table tennis player, who also co-organised the 1st varsity UoM vs MMU varsity match with me (You can read more about this event here).

Nicia Low
UOM Sports Intern & TT England Women & Girls Ambassador 2024/25