Ping pong parlour proves a big hit with Hartlepool shoppers

Table tennis players (from left to right), Travis Paul, Peter McIntosh, George Smurthwaite, and Lily Paul are ready for action as they post with coach Alun Hind
Table tennis players (from left to right), Travis Paul, Peter McIntosh, George Smurthwaite, and Lily Paul are ready for action as they post with coach Alun Hind

People had a ball when a table tennis academy set up shop in Hartlepool.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre served up the chance for shoppers to have ago at table tennis over the summer by setting up tables in a unit next to The Galleries cafe.

The Ping Pong Parlour was a resounding success throughout the afternoon at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

The Ping Pong Parlour was a resounding success throughout the afternoon at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

It culminated with a visit from the North East’s top table tennis coaches to run free coaching sessions and demonstrations to help players improve their skills.

They included Keith Thomas of Hartlepool Table Tennis Academy, who is also a director and board member of Table Tennis England.

Middleton Grange says the event was a big hit.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “We are were thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to run such an exciting event with Hartlepool Table Tennis Academy especially as we had some of the most experienced coaches of the sport to the centre.

Megan and Skye Fisher thoroughly enjoy the ping pong event at Middleton Grange.

Megan and Skye Fisher thoroughly enjoy the ping pong event at Middleton Grange.

“Our free ping pong parlour has been a massive hit this summer with many young people enjoying the free facility and really getting to grips with the sport.

“It has played a big part in our ongoing Healthy Hart marketing initiative, which focuses on the benefits of leading a balanced lifestyle.

“We ultimately want to inspire our shoppers to become more engaged with living healthier and this event has definitely been a great success in encouraging people to get more active.”

As well as the coaching sessions, the day also included a fun tournament.

Table tennis coach Alun Hind shows Lily Paul some top tips on how to beat her opponents

Table tennis coach Alun Hind shows Lily Paul some top tips on how to beat her opponents

Keith, chairman of Hartlepool Table Tennis Academy, said they were delighted to work with Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

He said: “This type of outlet is opening throughout the country and forms part of our strategic development plan to encourage participation in table tennis.”