Table tennis is a Fens smash

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Six new outdoor table tennis tables have been set up across Fenland with organisers pleased with how fast the sport has caught on.

The Manor Leisure Centre in Station Road, Whittlesey, West End Park in March and Wisbech Park each now have two tables in place and bats and balls can be borrowed for free.

And in the month since they were set up, the Manor Leisure Centre has loaned out around 80 sets while more than 60 have been loaned out in March on top of other players bringing their own equipment.

Outdoor table tennis is one of the sports being encouraged by Active Fenland, a three-year project being funded by a £250,000 grant awarded to Fenland District Council by Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund earlier this year.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, the council’s cabinet member responsible for sport and leisure, said: “This is a great sport. Anyone can have a go and you don’t have to be brilliant to enjoy it.

“In some ways it’s much harder than playing indoors as the wind can play havoc with the ball. But that only adds to the fun and having fun is really the whole point.

“At the moment Fenland has fewer people playing any kind of sport than anywhere else in Cambridgeshire. To change that, the first step is get more people to see that they can actually enjoy taking exercise.

“For some, that could be playing table tennis; others might like to try jogging or running, using one of the special run routes we launched last month. Whatever suits the individual best.”

To promote the new tables, Cllr Tanfield took on Chad Bassett who plays for Trojans in the Wisbech Table Tennis league.

He said: “I’m used to playing indoors and this is a definitely a whole different ball game. But it’s a fun way of getting people interested in table tennis who’ve never played it before.”

In other news, the Community Hub inside Whittlesey Library re-opened last week following the completion of essential building repairs.

The building in Market Street has been closed since September 30, during which time all the services normally provided there by Fenland District Council relocated to the Manor Leisure Centre.