Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week between the 9th and 15th May, this year highlighting the impact of loneliness on our mental health.

Did you know that one in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time, and the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems?

In previous years we have recognised how table tennis can be a tremendous benefit to people’s mental health, not just from the endorphins created from the physical exertion but from the social aspect of our sport also.

This year we’re highlighting the benefits that online communities can bring to tackling loneliness.

In early February we launched a Women in Table Tennis Facebook Group to open up an online space for women in our sport to come together and share ideas, problems and offer each other support.

The group has gone from strength to strength with nearly 200 members already, and has developed into a fantastic community of women.

We started the Women in Table Tennis Facebook group because we wanted to build an online community that connected females across the country. I have often received feedback from women that they are the only female in their league or the only coach at their club and that they would love to feel less isolated by speaking to other women in the same situation as them for advice and support.

The Facebook group was launched on International Women’s day, following the outlining of our future goal of Gender Parity in the sport. The group now has grown to just under 200 women, all from different backgrounds and having different experiences in the sport. Although, they may differ in their involvement of the sport, they all share the common goal of supporting each other, championing success and offering advice when needed.

National Participation Manager, Jenny Leach.

The Facebook group has the ability to bring women together and help them stay connected, whilst also presenting face to face opportunities for women to attend that they may not have known about such as local female-only sessions, or tournaments.

If you’re a female and would like to join our online community of women in table tennis, click here.