A council-backed free table tennis festival that drew thousands of people last year will return bigger and better this summer.
Last June Croydon Council and Table Tennis England installed 15 ping pong tables and equipment at outdoor and indoor locations across the borough so residents, workers and visitors could play impromptu matches as part of the nationwide Ping! festival.
Now the expanded festival will return from 10 June until the end of August with more than 25 tables at locations from parks and community centres to cafés.
As with last year’s event, which drew around 450 people in the first week alone, Ping! volunteers keep the tables stocked with bats and balls. On top of free use of the tables, there is also the chance to take part in ping pong master classes and competitions at various locations throughout the borough.
There will also be a competition to mark National Table Tennis Day on 14 July at Croydon’s Centrale shopping centre.
This summer’s Ping! Croydon locations include:
• Matthews Yard
• Wandle Park
• Thornton Heath Recreation Ground
• Croydon Arena
• Fieldway Community Centre
• Lost Format Society rooftop cinema, Fairfield Halls car park (three tables)
After the festival is over many of the tables will remain installed in parks and estates on a permanent basis or donated to organisations for the benefit of the community.
The festival is just one of a summer of council-backed leisure events returning to Croydon, from next month’s Pearl Izumi cycling races to this autumn’s follow-up to last year’s Ambition music festival.
“The council promotes leisure events like this to attract residents and visitors to spend time out and about in Croydon, so it’s really encouraging that several high-profile examples are starting to become regular fixtures in the borough’s calendar.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Keely Armitt, Adult Participation Manager for Table Tennis England, said: “We’re delighted that Croydon is once again joining 20 other towns and cities all over England to bring free ping pong to their communities. Our aim is to get as many people as possible enjoying the game and hopefully continuing to play long after the summer festival is over.”
For more information, visit the Croydon Ping! festival web page.