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Table Tennis Scotland's Pop In & Play initiative to get older generations physically active

By Tom Walker    06 Feb 2019
One of the first pop-ups was set up at an empty unit in the South Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh

Table Tennis Scotland and Age Scotland have launched a joint initiative aimed at encouraging older generations to become more physically active by taking part in table tennis sessions.

The programme is based on pop-up table tennis halls, which will initially be open between 11am and 2pm for seven days a week, with a team of table tennis volunteers on hand to help people get started.

One of the first pop-ups was set up at an empty unit in the South Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh.

South Gyle provided the space free of charge and a local club – Murrayfield Memorial Table Tennis Club – took a lead on behalf of local clubs in organising the volunteers to supervise the venue.

As well as playing on the tables, passers-by can access information on a range of other activities including local walking groups, walking sports, local clubs and how to make contact with dementia-friendly classes.

Martin Hayman, Table Tennis Scotland community project manager, says the pop-ups have been designed to attract the entire family.

“It is a fantastic inter-generational sport," says Martin.

"Parents and grandparents can play with their children, getting the whole family involved.

"There is nothing that kids like more than beating Mum or Dad. Here is their chance.”

Studies show that, as a low-impact sport, table tennis offers many health benefits for the elderly, as it gets the heart and muscles working on a regular basis.

Table Tennis Scotland is keen to promote the message through the venture.

“Table tennis is an excellent activity to get people active again," Hayman adds.

"The vast majority of people have played before. That might have been at school, on holiday or in a youth club. Even if it has been decades since you picked up a bat it is incredible how quickly it comes back.”

Table Tennis Scotland  Age Scotland 
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