Ping! Free Table Tennis hits Leeds

Visitors to Trinity Kitchen got some table service with a difference when they got to see one of the country’s top young ping pong stars in action.

England table tennis international Shayan Siraj, 12, was at the shopping centre’s food court earlier today (Thursday) to launch the new Ping! Leeds campaign, backed by Leeds City Council, which aims to get more people playing the sport this summer.

After seeing Shayan’s skills first hand, customers then got the chance to battle it out to see who were the city’s ping pong supremos.

As well as Trinity Kitchen, Ping! Leeds will see twenty five tables springing up across the city until the end of August at locations including Leeds Kirkgate Market, Roundhay Park Tropical World and Temple Newsam.

L-R England table tennis international Shayan Siraj, 12, at the launch of Ping! Leeds with Councillor Katherine Mitchell and Linda Sanderson, of the council's library and information service, who is Leeds and Bradford ladies table tennis champion.

L-R England table tennis international Shayan Siraj, 12, at the launch of Ping! Leeds with Councillor Katherine Mitchell and Linda Sanderson, of the council’s library and information service, who is Leeds and Bradford ladies table tennis champion.

Councillor Katherine Mitchell, Leeds City Council’s lead member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“Table tennis is a really fun sport that people of all ages and abilities can play, so these free tables will be a great way of encouraging people to get active when they’re out and about around Leeds this summer.

“We’ve picked a really exciting and varied list of locations for tables too which should give everyone the chance to pick up a bat and enjoy a game.”

Paul Smith, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, added:

“Ping! is such a great idea and a perfect fit for Trinity Kitchen which is all about delivering new and exciting experiences. We’re delighted to be hosting a table and can’t wait get hold of a bat for ourselves and give it a go!”

Leeds is one of 16 regions that have been selected to be part of Ping! this year, including Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Sheffield.

As well as the free tables, Leeds’s Ping! initiative will also feature a programme of activities, including masterclasses and tournaments.

Sally Shutt, coach development officer with Table Tennis England, said:

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase table tennis as a sport for all which has huge appeal to both young and old, expert and novice, able and disabled alike.

“The people of Leeds will find tables in various locations throughout the city and be able to join in a variety of fun activities including master classes and competitions for free.”

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