Ping! bounces back in the streets and parks of Oxford

Published: Friday, 10th June 2016

Look out for Ping Pong tables springing up all over Oxford, as the free table tennis festival Ping! returns to the city next weekend.

The aim of the festival, running for 8 weeks, is to get people active, enjoy ping pong and build a community of participants who want to continue playing table tennis long after the festival is over.

Funded by Sport England; Ping! is completely free to take part in, all you have to do is grab one of the bats and balls provided at the tables, find a willing opponent and get playing! 

Councillor Linda Smith, Oxford City Council Board Member for Leisure, Parks and Sports said: “We are delighted to be involved in Ping! again, as this is a great way of getting more people into table tennis and to participate in community events, competitions, games and enjoy free coaching”.

This year Oxford City Council will also set up a pop up Ping! Pong Parlour for the first time at Wahoo & The Glee Club which will host a free fun-filled launch party on Sunday 19th June from 12 – 7pm and. Everyone is invited to help celebrate launch Ping! Oxford 2016 with coaching from 1 – 4pm, a Beat the Robot Challenge, free play and various Father’s Day themed games, competitions and offers to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day. The Ping! Pong Parlour will stay open for the duration of the festival (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).

There will also be the opportunity to cheer on the Fusion Lifestyle mascots as Ollie the Octopus takes on Marvin the Penguin, plus the chance to watch Jack FM take on That’s TV Oxford in the Table Tennis Media Challenge. (There is still time for other media teams to enter – contact mstevens@oxford.gov.uk for details.)

The Ping! Oxford festival will also involve 14 other table tennis tables – with bats and balls provided for free – available across the city. Plus pop-up tables will be appearing at various community events including Flofest, Headington Festival and the Leys Festival and Horticultural Show.

Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services at Oxford City Council said: “Ping! has been a great success in Oxford with more than 74,000 people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds participating.  “We are keen to continue the success with this year’s fantastic new Ping! Pong Parlour and hope that many people pop along and have a go.”

To help keep the spirit of Ping! going after the festival Oxford City Council and Table Tennis England are working in partnership to provide free ping pong sets to community groups and workplaces within the city. To apply, contact Gemma Parry at gemma.parry@tabletennisengland.co.uk (conditions do apply).

Ping pong continues to keep its spot in the media too with recent coverage on BBC1’s 'How to Stay Young' with Angela Rippon examining the benefits of table tennis as exercise for the brain; and The Times and BBC Breakfast recently featured how businesses are providing tables for their employees. 

For more information about Ping! Oxford, and a full list of tables available, please visit the Ping! Oxford website, like Ping! Oxford on Facebook or follow @PingOxford on Twitter.