During the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Table Tennis England’s ‘Have A Go’ zone, proved to be a resounding success with spectators, from seasoned players to people only just discovering the sport.
A staggering 8,200 visitors over 10 days enjoyed trying their hand at table tennis on the four tables, three set aside for challenges while the fourth table had free play – and some special guests including Table Tennis Hall of Fame Legend Desmond Douglas MBE.
Winners of the speed gun challenge were:
Fastest Male – Oscar James 119 km/h
Fastest Female – Holly Clark 97 km/h
Fastest Junior – Will Pittson 93 km/h
The interactive trail, telling visitors all about table tennis in England, included a competition. Three lucky winners were drawn, all of whom correctly identified Maria Tsapstinos as being the female winner of the 2022 Mark Bates Senior National Cup.
The winners received a bat set plus some Commonwealth merchandise. They kindly shared their experiences of the Games:
Winner 1 – Megan Bollen
Winner 2 – Ruth Howman
Winner 3 – Liz Dainty
The delivery of the zone was a huge team effort, being staffed by Table Tennis England and volunteers from across the West Midlands.
Kevin Taylor, who lead the team of staff and volunteers said: “Well what can I say. Birmingham Commonwealth Games Table Tennis HAGZ experience was truly amazing. I should add that the enormous success of this activity was 100% down to the passion , enthusiasm and energy of our amazing staff and volunteers!! It was a pleasure and an inspiration to work with them all, and see the joy on the faces of everyone picking up a bat for the first time ! A great job all round!”