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queylotrie
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Post by queylotrie » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:17 am

National: Ping pong - leisurely alternative to the frenzy of TV sports

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We have been treated to a lot a screen of nationalistic pride this summer and, lucky folk that we are, no doubt have many more to come. But, if you have strangely missed the diamond jubilee and be planning on going awol during the Olympics, you might have done worse than stop by the City of London yesterday. For there, impervious to the opprobrium of Sir Mervyn King and oblivious to revelations of rate swaps and ordered collars, was an event so spectacularly English that nothing - except possibly Boris Johnsonbarrelling in with bunting in his own hair and yelling"whiff-whaff!" - could've been done to boost its allure. Click here you will be able to have various references for ping pong.

Held heroically amid summer showers this year's launching of Ping! , pictured right, - the Sports England-funded drive to get us indulging in a little light batting - heralded the arrival of ping pong tables across the country, from Brighton beach to Bristol Cathedral and Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction. For the last 3 years, Ping! Has been growing, to 400 last year and 700 summer time from 100tables in 2010. And, interestingly, it's revealed quite commendable heights of citizenship: of 4,000 bats distributed in London in2010, only 50 were not returned. According to organizer Colette Hillier of Sing London, this shows that"pleasure will bring out the best in you". Either that or they are simply not worth keeping.

Denis, a player in the launch, bemoaned the caliber of both table and balls: "French rubbish!" I think he'd brought his own bat. Etiquette aside, of course, the major idea of Ping! Is to bridge the gap between the incredible athletic feats being broadcast on tv this summer (for an average of 13 hours a day, in case you were wondering) and us, sitting on the couch, watching it on television when doing our own best in crisp-eating.
Which is all well and good, but is not ping pong a bit relaxing? A couple weeks ago I watched a hipsterish young man in Spitalfields play with a pleasing rally whilst talking during on his mobile phone. His conversation seemed it is fair to say, a fantastic bit more vigorous than his batting. To know more about size of table tennis, let's have a check at: https://flipboard.com/@pingpongstart/wh ... -b5o43k6sy

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"There are plenty of people doing things which get you somewhat sweatier," conceded Phil Smith of Sports England, "but ultimately ping pong is one of the most accessible sports... It is the kind of game you're able to play straight away - [whether you are ] young or old, good or bad - and likely have a decent game." Undoubtedly so. However, so far as I could see yesterday, the launch's doughty participants offered most especially those two staples of almost any English sporting event: valiant work and, with a couple notable exceptions, woeful underperformance. Balls went flying and points were given"for tenacity". But, for Dzaier Neil, a 54-year-old Paralympian who participates in the Beijing Games, the Ping!

The job was just what Britain should resuscitate its ping-pong talent. "We must market it more," she said, taking shelter during a sudden downpour. "We have to make it even more inclusive, and get away from what we did once we won the Olympic bid, which was to frantically try to locate'the' player. We concentrated too much on this, instead of getting a lot of people involved in the grassroots." Neil remembers her trip to China in 2008 when she saw for her joy that there were concrete tables" everywhere in public areas" so people can get a bat and practice each time they want. "The modern home of ping pong is China," she explained. Nearby, Chuan Liu, a Chinese sports journalist, confirmed her impression. "When I was young, eight or nine years old, the very first thing we did after school was visiting the tables," he remembered.

Regrettably, Liu was not a living example of how this ubiquity of tables prompted a generation to chop and flick together with unparalleled skill. "I'm horrible," he said, standing at a cautious distance from the guys in gold leggings and speaking like recalling deep childhood trauma." [ping pong] is a dreadful experience for me." I was unconvinced, however. Maybe he really was awful. Or maybe he'd just been in England long enough to pick up that additional national pastime - false modesty. Read more about table tennis at https://www.plurk.com/Pingpongstart

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