This amazing new initiative by Table Tennis Ireland is targeting girls aged 12-18 years old and is currently being piloted in schools and youth groups in Ulster. The concept of this innovative new programme is to combine the skills of art with the sport of table tennis!
The Ping Pong Art Programme targets a "Cultural Change for Females in Sport". The sessions consist of learning the basic skills of table tennis, such as bat and balls skills, hand-eye co-ordination, reflexes, basic strokes and scoring, connecting music to sport, and being creative by reflecting the sport of table tennis in art form.
For the art session, participants work in groups, and use art to visualise the concept of mixing ‘Sport & Art’ and design a table tennis logo/symbol to reflect the 4 ‘F’s – Female, Fun, Friendship and Family in a social environment.
This programme offers opportunities for the girls to express their views and make decisions. Girls are asked to choose music to play in the background while doing activities, use different coloured balls and pick their colour of t-shirt for the programme. For the Creative Ping Pong session, participants will be asked to think and bring objects that can be used as a bat, a ball and a net. We’ve seen the likes of a placemat, a frying pan, a chopping board, a balloon, and a tennis ball to date!
Through delivering social table tennis, the planned outcome for this project is to ensure all participants feel empowered, building their confidence and feeling pride through participating in physical activity and sport, and developing organisational skills while having fun. It will also demonstrate that being sporty does not always mean ‘medals at Olympics’!
Programme evaluation and monitoring are ongoing for each session and session plans are designed to meet their interest and requirements. Even though the programme is still in progress, initial feedback from participants, teachers, community organisers and LSPs has been very positive.
For more information on this incredible initiative, please reach out to Jing Yi Graham from Table Tennis Ireland at email@example.com.