Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Older people encouraged to take up ping pong

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Organisations that work with older people across Hampshire are to learn how to encourage older people to play table tennis during an awareness event at the Discovery Centre, Winchester on 19 July.

Hampshire County Council, in partnership with the BRITDOC Foundation, The English Table Tennis Association and Sport Hampshire and IoW, is hosting the awareness event that will show how playing ping pong not only helps older people to maintain an active lifestyle through an enjoyable activity, but also reduces social isolation by involving them more in their local community. New studies show the game has mental and physical benefits for older people and the event will be showing a film, commissioned by The English Table Tennis Association which promotes the use of ping pong in later life and follows eight ping pong players - with 703 years between them - who are taking part in the over-80s world championships in Inner Mongolia.

The event, which is part of the Better Balance for Life Falls Prevention project is for county and district-wide organisations that work with older people. Attendees will be able to see a presentation from Gosport Borough Council, who is already using ping pong in this way. The Ping Pong Care Campaign also aims to challenge current stereotypes around ageing and engage young people across the UK through learning resources and intergenerational activity.

Councillor Anna McNair Scott, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Hampshire County Council, said:

"Ping pong is an activity that anyone can take part in, and I hope that through this awareness event more older people will be inspired to have a go. The ping pong kits are really easy to use and can be used on most tables. This is just one way we are addressing isolation and loneliness, by promoting a range of social and physical activities for people to get involved with, helping them live as independently as possible in their own homes."

Partners attending will be given a free pack which includes a copy of the DVD and a instant Ping Pong net for engaging older people in Ping Pong in smaller, more local organisations such as coffee mornings, lunch clubs, carers groups and memory cafés.

To book on the event contact Sophie Jevons, Older People's Well-Being Team on 01962 846605 or email sophie.jevons@hants.gov.uk.

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