Ping! Nottingham

People in Nottingham can once again pick up their ping pong paddles, as the annual table tennis festival has returned to the city for the fifth year.

The festival, called Ping! Nottingham, has set up table tennis tables at 25 locations so people can play the sport for free.

Louise Trinder, 55, from Wollaton said: “It is an unusual thing to see in the city centre, but it is fun for just a five or ten minute game, and gets you a little bit of exercise too.

“It is an enjoyable thing to do and you can get talking to people as well, and as a bonus it is free. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

Ping! Nottingham table in Trinity Square

As well as the city centre, there have also been ping pong tables set up in Bulwell, Wollaton, Woodthorpe and Lenton.

The festival launched on Saturday with novelty tables to coincide with the Royal Wedding, professional players and even a table tennis robot.

Mark Sido, 24, from Mapperley has played on the tables in town and in the one in Wollaton Park.

He said: “It is not something you expect to see in a park or in the city centre, which makes people get curious about why it is there and decide to try it out.

“It is especially good for children as it provides a distraction if they are bored when out with parents, particularly if their parents are tired and need a sit down.

“They can let the kids blow off steam and play the game.”

The scheme was launched by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Table Tennis England, and the tables will be out until September 1.

Councillor Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “We know in Nottingham there is a huge demand for table tennis and a desire to play at any given opportunity.

“It’s a great activity you can take part in across the city this summer and it’s completely free. Put a table down, and within minutes you’ve got people playing.

“People pick up a bat and have a knock at various places from parks to bars and even shopping centres.

“You don’t even need a partner – just challenge a passer-by to a game. I’ll certainly be looking for a game or two!”