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Ping pong at the Peartree Centre

Published on 24 August 2018 02:06 PM

We were delighted to take part in Table Tennis England’s Ping Festival in August

National Table Tennis Day on Wednesday 18th July kick started the Ping! Festival which encourages people to get out over the summer months and use table tennis tables strategically placed around Milton Keynes. We were thrilled to be lent a full-size table tennis table for three days so that visitors to The Peartree Centre could knock a few balls about and rediscover the joys of ping pong.  Unsurprisingly, many older people played the sport as teenagers and, a bit like riding a bike, those carefully honed skills built up during an active adolescence never leave you.  It just takes a little while to “get your eye in”, to quote our volunteer Ian.

Ian's killerspin serve

Ian had forgotten how much he enjoyed playing ping pong and, not having access to a table, had not played for years.  Despite being busy helping serve lunches at our Wednesday lunch Club he managed to play a few [only mildly competitive] sets against fellow volunteer Anna.  We were all impressed by his apparent mastery of the killerspin serve!

Steve and Rose make a good doubles team

Rose enjoyed a more gentle game of table tennis but also said how much she enjoyed having a go.  Pat, who is known for his golf skills and visits the Peartree Centre every fortnight, spent the best part of an hour, at the table, pitting his rusty playing skills against Mary King who is Sports Development Assistant at Milton Keynes Council and arranged for the loan of the table.  Mary has played serious, competitive table tennis in her time and says "Table tennis is such an inclusive, fun and engaging activity which can be played on any table – my dining table is dual purpose!". 

Pat re-discovers he is pretty good at table tennis!

Having the table tennis table at The Peartree Centre reminded us all that it's never too late to get active.  We hope to continue providing opportunities for older people in Milton Keynes to have fun whilst getting active.  Age UK Milton Keynes already has a short mat bowls set at The Peartree Centre.  Who knows, maybe we'll soon have our own ping pong table!