Bat and Chat

Bat and Chat supports clubs and leagues to run successful programmes aimed at the 55+ market

Bat and Chat is a social session that gives adults an opportunity to enjoy table tennis or learn how to play in a friendly and relaxed environment. The sessions are led by an activator or coach and consist of informal play and different formats e.g. doubles.

The sessions can be used to beat social isolation, support those who love the sport to continue playing and also as a feeder into local league divisions.

Chelmsford League has seen success in players being fed into the league; Paul Bullock, a 73-year-old retired teacher from Basildon started attending the group, which meets on Tuesday mornings at Chelmsford Leisure Centre, early this year, and has now ‘graduated’ to two league teams.

“It really was a superb beginning to table tennis for me,” he said. “It’s like any sport, you have to get the basics in place if you want to play to a reasonable level and there was a coach there who could do that.

“I had the ability to reach a reasonable standard and now I’ve joined a couple of league teams – Chelmsford F in the Chelmsford League and Mount Nessing in the Brentwood League.

One league to also launch the programme is Castleford and Pontefract. The league started a Bat & Chat session to address the steady decline of members in recent years, and after anecdotal evidence revealed existing squash club members would enjoy a different racket activity. The session was advertised through a flyer and the local press.

Dennis Shaw, league press secretary, said: “Numbers at the sessions have been consistently high and most of the players have been either new to the sport or returning from playing previously. Most have been signed up as associate members and a few are progressing to the League in September.”

The Bat & Chat product is free of charge to PremierClubs and Leagues, and £15 to Associate Clubs. It provides organisers with guidance and tips on how to set up a session, plus marketing materials to help recruit participants.

To find more about the product we suggest you read our good practice guide on customer experience, which forms a key part of our objective to improve the experience of all those playing our game. The good practice guide can be found here.

Bat and Chat can be ordered by filling in the simple form below.

After completing our request form and confirming you meet some basic criteria for delivering the programme, you will receive a digital download with the product guide and marketing materials. We will also then post out to you 20 glossy A4 customisable posters, a set of flyers, and a hard copy of the guidance document. We will also add your session to our table tennis finder website tool, and you will become part of a wider network of clubs and leagues delivering the Bat & Chat programme.

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