Visitors at a Leeds restaurant got some table service with a difference when they saw one of the country’s top young ping pong stars in action.
England table tennis international Shayan Siraj, 12, visited Pizza Luxe at Trinity Kitchen to launch the new Ping! Leeds campaign, which aims to get more people playing the sport this summer.
Around 25 tables will be popping up across the city until the end of August at locations including Leeds Kirkgate Market, Roundhay Park Tropical World and Temple Newsam.
Shayan, from Bramhope, was joined by the current Leeds and Bradford Ladies champion Linda Sanderson, 49, for a battle at the new ping pong table today (July 17).
Linda, from Morley, said: “It’s a sport you can do at any age. It keeps you active and I would recommend it to anybody.”
Sally Shutt, coach development officer with Table Tennis England, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to showcase table tennis as a sport for all which has huge appeal to both young and old, expert and novice, able and disabled alike.”
Ping! Leeds is backed by Leeds City Council and will also include a programme of activities, including masterclasses and tournaments.
Councillor Katherine Mitchell, Leeds City Council’s lead member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “Table tennis is a really fun sport that people of all ages and abilities can play.
“We’ve picked a really exciting and varied list of locations for tables, which should give everyone the chance to pick up a bat and enjoy a game.”
Leeds is one of 16 regions selected to be part of Ping! this year, joining the likes of London, Liverpool and Sheffield.
To get involved and find your nearest free table tennis table, visit: www.pingleeds.co.uk