Richmond’s Paul Qi is one of Canada’s top table tennis players and he’s recently opened a small venue specializing in one-on-one coaching. At Paul’s Table Tennis Training Academy at the River Club (near No. 5 Road and Steveston Highway) he shares his deep knowledge of the sport with players of all levels eager to improve their game. Equipped with my shoes and racquet, I dropped by on August 17th to meet Paul, check out his new training academy, hit a few balls, and maybe pick up a few pointers.
We started out listing and evaluating places to play ping pong in Vancouver but since the city has so few places to play, we’ve moved on to adjacent municipalities like Burnaby, New Westminster and now Coquitlam. Over the Canada Day weekend, we dropped by the lower mainland’s latest outdoor public table tennis court, Coquitlam Municipal Hall Tables. Nice! There are two aggregate stone table tennis tables by Sanderson Concrete, the go-to table when you want the installation to last 50 years, set towards the edge of a large plaza that by design, invites people to stay awhile.
We are two years into our mandate to promote and support the development of outdoor table tennis courts in Vancouver parks so it’s time to briefly report on what has NOT happened in the past 24 months. We’ve concluded that Vancouver is really not into providing safe, standardized table tennis courts in parks around the city and things are not likely to change anytime soon. While adjacent municipalities are blazing ahead with outdoor table tennis courts, Vancouver park planners don’t seem to get it at all.
When Raymond Li’s Cosports multi-sport complex opened its doors for the first time in 2022, it instantly became the best table tennis venue in the province, and for good reasons. In addition to badminton courts, Cosports boasts 10+ table tennis courts under bright lights in a large gym with IFFT-approved flooring designed specifically for table tennis. The equipment is top-notch, the courts are spacious, and there are changing rooms and showers. It’s open from 10am to 10pm every day. Sure, it’s not in Vancouver but we sure do wish it was. It’s absolutely worth a visit!
What can we say? Here is another quality table tennis court located in a Burnaby park! It seems Burnaby is treating table tennis like a real sport by building courts in parks, just like tennis but at a fraction of the cost. Surrounded by trees, the Cameron Park Tables may be the best outdoor table tennis court in Burnaby.
The lone ping pong table at 401 West Georgia seems like it would be a favourite for office workers at noon hour. This second table tennis court associated with a downtown office building is not the oasis like the Oxford Place Tables, but it is completely sheltered from rain positioned under the overhang of the office tower. Tucked in close to the building, the table is also likely shielded from some of the winds that often plague outdoor ping pong on plazas.
Meet head coach Helen Wu and the Greater Vancouver Ping Pong Society, the latest table tennis club to open up in Burnaby. We haven’t visited yet to play but Helen kindly submitted a description of the club and programs, and we like what we see.
The Confederation Park Table Tennis Court is our latest “discovery” of great places to play free, outdoor public ping pong in Burnaby. Adjacent to the tennis courts, this new, spacious court sports three beautiful Cornilleau table tennis tables set on an isolated asphalt pad complete with a seating area along the eastern edge. Good job once again, Burnaby Parks & Rec!
Great news for local outdoor table tennis enthusiasts! Word is out that Health Minister Adrian Dix granted $45,000 last week towards the Vancouver School Board’s proposed table tennis court at Windermere Community Fitness Park. The dedicated table tennis court on VSB property is a first for Vancouver, a municipality with no dedicated table tennis courts on city land or parks.
It’s no secret: Vancouver isn’t big on ping pong in parks. To help advocate for safe public ping pong tables in parks, Ping Pong In Vancouver has been asking for your input on where you’d like to see table tennis tables in a park near you. If you live in Burnaby or New Westminster, you can head down to your local park to play table tennis on tables set on an asphalt pad surrounded by grass and shade trees. Why can’t it be the same for citizens of Vancouver? Tell us where you’d like to see a safe place to play ping pong near you!