Suffolk’s second PING! Town was officially launched in Felixstowe with the opening of 8 outdoor tables sited throughout the Town.
The tables – located at 6 key play areas in the Town along with 2 in the heart of the town centre at Great Eastern Square – have been made possible thanks to a wider partnership between Table Tennis England, Suffolk County Council led Most Active County Partnership – which will see increasing numbers of tables located in a variety of outdoor locations across the county – and locally East Suffolk Council and Felixstowe Town Council. The aim of the partnership is to provide additional accessible opportunities for Suffolk residents of all ages to be active in their local community.
The launch of the tables in Felixstowe will see a series of activities and events being held over the next few weeks to raise awareness of and make the most of the availability of these new resources to the Town including regular free coaching sessions and bats & balls made available to local schools.
All tables will have unrestricted access for anyone to use at any time.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Public Protection and Communities, said “Suffolk County Council is delighted to have been working in partnership with Table Tennis England for over three years now in order to increase opportunities for people in Suffolk to be more active”.
“Increasing physical activity levels as part of a healthy lifestyle has significant benefits for wellbeing. Partnerships such as these, where equipment is placed in community settings, can only help Suffolk’s aspirations of becoming the most active county in England.”
“We are delighted that Felixstowe has become the second PING! Town in Suffolk and hope residents and visitors enjoy the new resources for years to come.”
Meanwhile Councillor Mark Jepson, Mayor of Felixstowe, commented “I am delighted that the PING! project has come to Felixstowe, and I am very much looking forward to seeing residents of all ages and abilities having some fun whilst using the tables, especially after what has been a difficult year for many.”
Councillor Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, added “This is a fantastic project and we’re really pleased to have teamed up with the PING team and Suffolk County Council to bring it to Felixstowe. Physical activity is important for everyone, and we hope that this will encourage residents of all ages to get involved in a bit of friendly competition in a fun, relaxed and free way.”
Table Tennis England said “PING! is built around the simple concept of taking ping pong to the places people already spend time, removing the barriers to participation and making the game more visible, accessible and relevant than ever before. “
“Table tennis is unique in that it can be designed into everyday life and played by people of all ages, genders, abilities and ethnicities. We’re delighted to have Suffolk County Council and the Most Active County Partnership join our ever-expanding network of partners delivering sustainable programmes that can be used within communities to positively impact people’s lives.”
Any town, district or parish council that would like to explore the potential of bringing table tennis to their neighbourhood should contact Phil Lown at [email protected].
[Photo above – Chairman of Suffolk County Council Cllr Graham Newman trying out one of the new Felixstowe PING! tables.]