A group of table tennis enthusiasts just can’t get enough of the sport and are toasting funding which will see them have the opportunity to pick up a bat at least twice a week.
The ‘Active and Healthy’ community table tennis session, which has been running regularly on Wednesday mornings, last week had its first Friday class thanks to a grant from SportDundee.
Formerly known as Dundee City Sports Council, the group have provided the over 50s club with new equipment to facilitate an eight-week trial of the new programme.
Now taking place twice a week at the city’s Ward Road Gym from 10am to 12pm, the class has attracted interest from many Dundonians attending for health reasons and those who haven’t played for years but are now enjoying the opportunity to play following retirement.
Dundee and District Table Tennis Association (DDTTA) volunteers have been key in organising the sessions and believe the social benefits are as important as the physical ones for a membership, some of which in their 80s.
Committee member Arthur Pritchard, 67, said: “We started Friday sessions because the Wednesdays were so successful. It’s a small cost of £3 per class due to our support from SportDundee.
“This is part of our plan to be involved in health issues for people aged 50 and over.
“It’s not just an elitist approach, it’s about getting as many people involved and active and healthy as we can.
“There’s benefits of table tennis in respect of keeping your flexibility and muscle tone, muscle mass.
“There’s the mental side of things, co-ordination.
“That’s a factor we looked at, plus there’s isolation issues for people.
“They bond as a group in this social setting.”
And Pritchard insists it doesn’t just benefit the older generation, saying: “If there’s revenue coming in that supports the work we’re doing in schools as well, the two actually tie in together.
“We’ve invited the youngsters in the school clubs we run along to the sessions, free of charge during the holiday periods.
“That is good for the older age group and the kids.”