By Vishal Saha
What is table tennis?
Table tennis (also known as Ping Pong) is a racquet sport, played all around the world, particularly in parts of Asia and Europe. The sport can sometimes be underrated when compared with other sports such as rugby and football, but it still requires a huge amount of skill and concentration.
The sport is governed by the worldwide organization ‘International Table Tennis Federation’ (ITTF), which was founded in 1926. Table tennis is still a very popular sport in parts of the world and has been an Olympic sport since 1988, with several event categories.
It could be said the sport is not as ‘big’ as other dominating sports or that it does not get telecast on TV as much, however, it is actually the third largest participation sport in the world – after football and cricket!
Table tennis at Hampton School
Table tennis, as many Hampton students may know already, is very popular at Hampton and you can attend the club on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes. If you want to be in with a chance of playing for the school teams, you should try to attend one of these club sessions so you can train and improve. If you are interested, make sure to talk to Mr Bolton who organises the teams or our invaluable coach, Jane Barella.
There are various table tennis matches played (often in the first couple of half terms) against other schools. As well as this we enter both our U13 A team and our U16 team into the competitive London South Schools Table Tennis Leagues. There has already been recent success with both table tennis teams winning the Richmond Schools’ Championships Qualifier and the U13As winning the Plate Cup in the London South Finals.
Generally, the A teams contain four players, but there is also a B team – giving you more opportunities to play matches as well. There are many ways to progress in this sport – at school, as well as out of school. You can find a local club near home, play at a park or see if you can hire a table to play at a local leisure centre.
Overall, if you are interested in this sport, there are many places to practise your game – whether you are a complete beginner or a budding superstar. At Hampton we are lucky enough to have eight table tennis tables and you should definitely take the opportunity to play on them at the club at lunchtimes, if you are interested.