During lockdown Table Tennis Wales sent out table tennis packs to families in various communities across Wales. To help the whole family to stay active at home due to the global pandemic. As part of a continuing partnership with BME sport Cymru we worked Sports Officer for the Swansea area Mohammed Basit, who has since asked for more equipment to get more families active.
Basit has shared his report below, of how it’s benefitted the families who received the packs.
“Back in late June 2020, the BME Sport Cymru project was approached by Table Tennis Wales to get involved in an interesting opportunity to support our local communities in staying active at home by utilising very easy to set table tennis equipment. It was an opportunity which was very welcomed as we were in a period in the year where the UK was under many lockdown restrictions caused by Covid-19. We were all encouraged to stay at home and to follow government guidelines to limit the spread of the virus. “
“The table tennis sets came with bats, balls and a net. All that was required by families was a playing surface such as a table. All the families found it very easy to set up and get playing table tennis with their families. During the lockdown period, the project has needed to improvise and work differently to normal to stay engaged with communities and organisations to ensure they stay active in some capacity. Working for Ethnic Minority & Youth Support Team (EYST), we had quickly identified families that were interested in the table tennis sets. But also working with organisations such as Chinese In Wales Association, African Community Centre and SCoS ‘A Better Welcome to Swansea’ Project (SCVS) we were able to identify many other families who were open to support to keep young people and their families active through sporting means. This helped us to reach out to a diverse range of people. It was a huge benefit that families only required a table to get playing.”
“Recently we have received feedback from the families. By using the table tennis sets, it has impacted”
- Many gaining an interest in playing Table Tennis
- Playing and socialising with family members
- Staying active at home
- Avoiding boredom during lockdown
- Casually playing against family
- Competitively playing against family
- Playing with parents
- Having fun
“Used more than ever before due to being stuck at home due to lockdown!” explained one parent.
“They are thoroughly enjoying! Thanks for supplying…” commented another.
“With the shorter days and regular wet British weather, we hope they all continue to play and further their interest in the sport. The table tennis sets have been a welcomed distraction to keep young children and their family members active, engaged and having fun. This has been very important for their physical and mental wellbeing.”
“Whilst there are still many restrictions in place related to Covid-19, we are keen to develop ideas and opportunities post lockdown to encourage more families and their young people to continue playing table tennis. At our drop-in centre in EYST, we will have our table tennis accessible to young people aged between 10 and 25 to use. This is an ideal environment to play, meet others and socialise. We are keen to invite coaches or talented players to be attend and provide coaching to our young people. Furthermore, we are hoping to develop keen volunteers in taking a lead on delivering regular activities which would include coaching. This is an area where Table Tennis Wales can support us by holding the Leaders Award Course.”
Table Tennis Wales looks forward to working with Basit and the BME Sport Cymru project in the future. For more information see below link.