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The social power of table tennis

The power of table tennis as a social networking tool has been rekindled over the past few years with a variety of new and exciting table tennis related organizations popping up all over the globe. Table tennis in the northern hemisphere was also a huge social hit in the 50’s and 60’s as the hard bat era reigned. Now, Ping Pong as its fondly called is finally enjoying the spotlight once again. Accepted by many as the new trend in social activity, groups of people flock to bars and cafes to eat, drink and hit the ball around.

Spin social club

PHOTO: NYTIMES.COM

There are a number of startups that have hit the table tennis scene by storm, helping to grow the sport’s popularity and overall appeal. A few to mention are Spin and Drive in the USA, Bounce and Pongathon in the UK, Dr.Pong in Berlin and The Ping Pong Club in Moscow. These are just a few social entities fueling this explosive trend also, websites such as Table Tennis Master, Mytabletennis.net, Table Tennis Daily and PongUniverse, all of which attempt to bridge the generation gap by bringing collaborating enthusiasts together.

What makes Table tennis AKA Ping Pong such a great past-time activity is its ability to reach people from all different walks of life. With no regards to age, race, gender or social barriers this worldwide sport is great at networking or social events. Playing can be fun and competitive at any level. As there are many facets of the game which contribute to its popularity, the one in particular I think is the key to its survival is its infectious trait: the inability for one to put down the paddle and step away from the table.

As table tennis popularity continues to grow, it is clear to see just how much influence it has today. Even though some question its claim to be the second largest played sport worldwide, the ITTF was named the second largest sports federation in world as of 2013. As a table tennis player and coach I am very excited to see how much more the sport will grow in the future. I am happy to see that millions of people are now enjoying what my fellow enthusiasts and I learned when we discovered this sport: it’s fun, healthy and just about anyone can play!

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