Making the most of public tables

Activating public tables and building communities of regular players

Placing a new public table creates an opportunity for people to play. This is a good start, but leaves the success of the table to chance. If you zoom-in there are usually plenty of opportunities to nurture local ownership of a new table and chances to bring people together so they belong to a community of regular players.

 

  • Build connections with existing communities, such as Friends of Parks groups and Tenants Residents Associations. These groups already have a vested interest in the success of a table on their patch and a network of local connections to help promote the table. At Hill Court Estate in Stoke Newington, a proactive member of the local TRA set up an event to launch their new table, invited local councillors and dished out bats and balls to nearby residents. Since then, the whole community feel like the table is theirs to enjoy
  • Spend time at the table and talk to the people playing there. These conversations can help understand the aspirations of local players, and in turn, this helps you make decisions about what happens next. At Kings Cross, players told us about their appetite for more competitive table tennis, and this prompted us to run some King of Ping! tournaments and eventually led to the creation of a new community of competitive players called the Kings X TT Tribe. They meet to play everyday, and now run their own tournaments every single Sunday
  • Use online platforms to help players connect with each other. The London Fields Table Tennis Community in East London use Facebook group to self-organise activity around their local table. This has swelled to over 300 members
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