The sessions started in January 2019 after Russell Smith, a keen volunteer, who had been working on a project to refurbish the community centre, thought it would be an ideal location to start a social table tennis club.

Russell applied for a Ping In the Community package designed to help bring members of the community closer together and inspire them to lead more active and social lifestyles.

Since the arrival of the table, sessions have really taken off, with a few members contributing to the purchase of a further three tables. Amazingly membership has grown to over 53 including 25 female players, since opening.

Russell said:

It’s been a real success story, with members finding the opportunity to meet new people and play table tennis socially, a great benefit to the Poulton community. We are now exploring the possibility of starting some junior coaching sessions.
Peter Hoole a keen local player has been offering players tips and advice on how to improve their game, has qualified as a TT England Level 1 coach and has recently completed his Level 2 award.

Janice, who used to play a number of years ago before moving to London, saw the sessions promoted on Facebook and thought it was a great opportunity to get back into the game, and is now a key volunteer helping with the admin and communication with members.

The club has recently expanded its sessions from Thursday afternoon 2pm – 4:30pm to Sunday evening 7pm – 9pm, entered 8 teams in the Blackpool & District Table Tennis League and recently held the local league finals night.

Martin Ireland, TT England NW Area Manager said:

It’s been marvellous to see the club grow so much within such a short period of time, with players receiving coaching tips and such a good group of volunteers. It’s also been great for the local league with a number playing league matches for the very first time.
If your community group would like to start a social table tennis club, and you would like to know more about our Sport England subsidised Ping in the Community packages see here or contact one of our area team at [email protected].