Get Inspired: How to get into table tennis

11-year-old 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. You can see the full rules and regulations on the Table Tennis England website.external-link

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

Are you inspired to try table tennis? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,external-link visiting us on Facebookexternal-link or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

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.