Andover is now the proud owner of two brand new table tennis tables after residents asked for more outdoor sports facilities to be provided in the town.
Andover Vision has installed the new tables in the small park by Town Mills and on the area of grass near the entrance to Andover Leisure Centre. Bats and balls are provided for people to use free of charge.
Residents flagged that there was a need for more outdoor sports facilities in the area through the Andover Vision consultation process. The suggestion to install outdoor table tennis tables and several other projects were put to a public vote at a series of community events over the summer, with the ping pong proposal coming out on top.
Councillor Phil North, who has been coordinating the Andover Vision project, said: “It is great to see the table tennis tables in place and I would encourage everyone to come down and enjoy a game of ping pong or two. I am pleased that the Andover Vision has been able to deliver on this request from residents and hope that the tables will help to encourage people to visit the town and keep active.”
Andover Table Tennis Association’s records and press officer, Nick George, said: “The Andover Table Tennis Association is very grateful to Andover Vision for the installation of these two new outdoor table tennis tables. The Association has recently noticed an increase in new members participating in table tennis and we anticipate that these new outdoor tables will be of benefit to us, as well as the general community. These tables are proving so popular that even the National Trust has installed them at some of their houses – which is just as well that they are for outdoor use only or there might be muttering among the ancestors.
“The benefit to the community could result in young people getting fitter, and for older people it has been proven that it helps keep the brain active. If people want to practise further, Andover Table Tennis Association runs an open session on Friday evenings at John Hanson School from 7pm to 9.30pm, which people are welcome to just turn up to. We have a coach who can provide coaching if people want. The first visit is free and it is just £2 for children and £3 for adults thereafter.”
Feedback from residents will be used to develop an Andover Vision document which is expected to be launched in April 2017.