Ping pong bounces back across Sheffield

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They’re back with a bounce!

Bats, tables and balls have cropped up in spots across Sheffield to bring ping pong to the people.

City Centre Table Tennis,outside the Winter Garden

City Centre Table Tennis,outside the Winter Garden

Colleagues, friends, families - and even complete strangers - were getting into the sporty spirit as a scheme designed to get people more active made a welcome return to the city.

The programme - dubbed Ping! - will allow people to play ping pong free of charge at nearly 30 locations including Devonshire Green, the Peace Gardens, Meadowhall and Valley Centertainment.

Coaching will also be on offer to those who fancy honing their skills.

For most, however, the tables offer the chance to do something different on a lunch break or day out.

Amanda Packham, of Malin Bridge, enjoyed a friendly game with her 12-year-old son Owen - a big fan of ping pong.

She said: “Owen spotted it and ran straight over. Balls have being going everywhere but we’re enjoying it.

“He always picks up a bat when he sees a table. There are some at Hillsborough Leisure Centre but I think it’s a great idea having them in the city centre.

“Anybody at any age can come along and have a game. I’ve seen all sorts of people coming and going.”

Owen added: “I’m better than my mum.”

At the Peace Gardens a handful of spectators watched Pitsmoor lads Joel Higgins and Ali Shorro go head-to-head in a heated game.

Despite being from the same area the pair did not know each other before they began playing, but followed the table’s message to pick up a bat and look around for a partner.

Ali, 19, said: “I used to play at college and I really like it. It feels like the first good thing they have had in the city centre this summer.

“I played when they were here last year.”

Joel, 17, said: “I just came with my mates and they’ve sat and watched while I play. It’s good having the tables here.”