Get Inspired: How to get into table tennis

Anna Hursey: from the school playground to the Commonwealths

How do I start?

Find your local club or public table at Table Tennis England external-link, Table Tennis Wales external-link, Table Tennis Scotland external-link and Table Tennis Northern Ireland external-link.

What is table tennis?

As the name suggests, it's played on a table divided by a net. You can play singles or doubles and use bats to hit a light ball over the net and onto their opponent's side of the table.

Is it for me?

Table tennis is suitable for every age and fitness level, and it's easy to find a place to play - with tables everywhere from parks to leisure centres, bars and shopping centres. You can even play at home - all you need is a ball, bats and a table.

Inclusive table tennisexternal-link is widely available for all abilities, contact your national organisation for details.

What to expect when I start?

  • Table tennis is an effective workout because it's fast-paced so really gets your heart pumping and improves stamina.
  • It's cheap to play as you can play in public for free or in a leisure centre for a small cost so it's a great family activity.
  • It sharpens your reflexes and mental agility.
  • Playing reduces stress and anxiety and schools which provide table tennis report that pupil well-being and behaviour improves.
  • There are programmes for young people to get into table tennis, like TT Kidzexternal-link which aims to give 7-to-11-year-olds a fun first experience of the sport.

To get you in the mood...

The table tennis coach with Down's Syndrome

All clubs need a chair, secretary and treasurer to help things run smoothly as well as officials, coaches and judges. Whatever role you're interested in, Join Inexternal-link has opportunities to volunteer in your area.