News & Opinions
Op-Ed Pieces, Ping Pong News and Upcoming Events
Join Ping Pong In Vancouver in celebrating the ITTF Foundation’s World Table Tennis Day (WTTD) on April 23, 2024. On this date annually groups around the globe celebrate the world’s second largest participation sport. Last year there were more than 440 celebrations in 111 countries. We invite you to be part of Ping Pong In Vancouver’s week-long celebration of WTTD 2024 starting April 16.
Community centres are the final frontier for those who love to meet up with friends to play table tennis. With few dedicated clubs and sky-high real estate prices in the city, there are no places to play that are as convenient and inexpensive as your local community centre. Despite a city full of community centres, organized table tennis programs are few. It’s our hope this article will motivate table tennis fans to advocate for our sport.
From the author: “Here’s a lesson about being careful what you wish for. In a very short period of time, I had gone from being an average table tennis player to being voted in as the communications director of the BC Table Tennis Association (BCTTA). With the directorship came the capacity to initiate positive changes within an agency whose best days seemed to have passed. Or so I thought. This is a brief story of my year as a director of the BCTTA and what I found about about the state of the sport of table tennis in BC.
Great news for Vancouver outdoor table tennis enthusiasts! Last spring Health Minister Adrian Dix granted $44,000 towards the Vancouver School Board’s proposed table tennis court at Windermere Community Fitness Park located at 27th Avenue and Lillooet Street. And as of December 4, 2023, the dedicated table tennis court, a first for Vancouver, is now open. We can’t weight for a dry day to try it out!
Ping Pong In Vancouver’s Editor-in-Chief Beeyo travelled to New York city this past September to, apart from the touristy things, check out the table tennis scene in the borough of Manhattan. Expecting to find a long established downtown clubs and a thriving community of players around every free ping pong table in town, here’s what he found…
Who says kids are self-absorbed with their heads buried in social media? Not the kids who make up TT4Ever, a non-profit dedicated to promoting access to table tennis for everyone, for ever. The Ontario-based table tennis advocacy group led by table tennis star and university student Kevin Guo, sprang into being last year. It’s made up of young people like Kevin who have a strong belief in table tennis as a sport that unites people, helps people heal, and extends the boundaries open to people with physical limitations. TT4EVER and the North Shore Table Tennis Club held an exciting fundraising tournament on September 9 drawing excellent local talent and visiting players from Japan and Ukraine.
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.
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!
Besides becoming a go-to listing for places to play ping pong in Vancouver, we want to be a voice for promoting public ping pong in Vancouver. Specifically, we would like to see ping pong installations in Vancouver parks consisting of a slab of asphalt or concrete with a table in the middle, surrounded by a safety barrier of lawn, a recreational installation very common in European parks from Derbyshire to Berlin
Ping Pong In Vancouver has finally created a players directory, one of the three main goals we set out to accomplish when we launched the website. We list places to play table tennis and we advocate for ping pong infrastructure in Vancouver parks (although all of our efforts so far to connect with Vancouver Parks planners has been completely ignored). Now we connect ping pong players with partners!
Ping Pong In Vancouver advocates for public table tennis. Our goal is to bring safe, permanent public ping pong installations to Vancouver’s many parks. There are a lot of ping pong players out there who’d love to play their fave sport outside within the safety of a park. Our main problem so far has been trying to get the attention of city officials and bureaucrats. The people who make decisions. We have pursued the recommended routes of communication over the past 4 weeks, since the launch of this website, but so far our efforts have been unsuccessful…
Ping pong is actually a sport. The sport is table tennis. It is the second most popular sport on earth. Players begin by playing ping pong, but as skills sharpen, ping pong players grow into table tennis players, and table tennis players need room to play the sport safely.
Unlike parks in other western countries like Germany, parks in Vancouver, despite the vast unused lawns available, do not contain table tennis playing areas by default. In fact, not a single ping pong table installation exists within a Vancouver park. We are late to the game when compared to our European friends. But what potential we have given our numerous parks for ping pong installations within the safety of a public lawned area. Ping Pong In Vancouver has written this post to help define a standard for a table tennis playing area within any public park.
Ping pong players playing on any of the public ping pong installations we’ve reviewed on this website face objective hazards. Public ping pong tables are currently offered as “afterthoughts”, haphazardly placed, without much regard to a player’s safety, in busy pedestrian areas around the city. In Vancouver, there are no ping pong tables situated in safely within the grassy regions of a park as in the standard in the UK and Germany. Ping pong players deserve for no less than the safety considerations afforded our sister sport, tennis.
From the film’s description: “In the middle of New York City, tucked away in the corner of Bryant Park, sit two outdoor ping pong tables where anyone is free to play. Young or old, rich or homeless, it doesn’t matter. During the day, the park provides paddles and balls, but after 7pm the regulars show up, armed with their own. Every night they come together to play each other and battle the elements, playing in the wind, rain and even snow. And out of this shared love of the game, a bond was formed between an unlikely group of people. Filmmaker Jon Bunning profiles the many lives these tables have touched, including the former gangbanger who helped put them there.”