Shoppers in Horsham can bat away the January blues at a new pop-up Ping Pong Parlour in the town centre.
The doors to the former La Vida and Calendar Club unit in Swan Walk swung open this morning (January 18) to reveal the shopping centre’s new table tennis initiative.
The centre has teamed up with the Ping! and Loop team at Table Tennis England to offer two free to play ping pong tables, available for anyone of any age to use.
Gill Buchanan, Swan Walk centre manager, said: “We are really delighted to be working with Table Tennis England on their Ping initiative.
“It has been around in other shopping centres but not in this area so it’s great to be able to bring it to Horsham.
“We hope that our customers young and old will come in and enjoy a free game of table tennis.”
The parlour is also being supported by Horsham District Council.
Ian Ford, sports development manager at the council, said he was hoping to put on special sessions to teach people of all ages and abilities how to play.
He said: “We’re keen to support this initiativeas we want to get more people active and more people into table tennis.
“We are looking to engage with people with disabilities and run some sessions with the older generation.”
The unit is already proving popular, with many shoppers picking up a bat and challenging their friends to a quick game.
Three-year-old Luken Brown was taught the ropes by Ian and may be a name to look out for in the future.
His mother, Jimena Brown said: “It’s such a great thing to find in the middle of the shopping centre.
“My child has experienced something he has never done before.”
Ian added: “We also are working with Horsham Table Tennis club to engage them in the project as they are always keen to receive new members and getting people to play what is a great sport.”
Horsham police community support officers Karen Denness and Damian Cecil were also down for the opening.
Damian said: “It’s a great facility for people young and old to use. It will engage different people in the community and you don’t need any special skills to play it.”
The parlour will be open from 9.30am until 5.00pm Monday to Saturday and from 11.00am until 4.00pm on Sundays.