Following the success of its partnership with Boccia England, Sport for Confidence CIC has partnered with Table Tennis England and the Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) to produce a free to download guide that details the therapeutic potential of table tennis.
Dr Anna Pettican, Occupational Therapist and Projects Manager at Sport for Confidence, says: “Table tennis is a fun and adaptable sport, which makes it ideal for use as a therapeutic activity”.
“Table tennis is one of the core sports we use at Sport for Confidence, because it is accessible to many who face barriers to participation. On a weekly basis, we are witnessing improvements in
clients’ coordination, balance, standing tolerance, fine and gross motor skills, cognition, overall wellbeing, and social skills”.
“We have produced this short, accessible guide together with people who have used table tennis as part of their own recovery, as well as sports professionals from both Table Tennis England and Brighton Table Tennis Club. The Guide contains several case-studies to spark ideas and demonstrate the value of using table tennis as a therapeutic activity. We hope it will enable more sports coaches and health professionals to consider the therapeutic potential of table tennis.”
The partnership between Table Tennis England, Brighton table Tennis Club and Sport For Confidence is well aligned to Sport England’s mission to ‘connect with health and well-being’: To strengthen the links between sport, physical activity, health and wellbeing, so more people can experience the benefits of, and advocate for, an active life, as outlined in Sport England’ new 10 year strategy ‘Uniting The Movement’.
Colin Eley, Partnerships Manager at Table Tennis England, says: “We make no secret of the benefits playing Table Tennis can have on a person’s physical and mental well-being. We know Table Tennis can be (and is) a sport for all for life and that initial exposure to the game is key. It’s important we (TTE) support resources such as this guide, in order to open up the sport to audiences who may have not considered it. We want people to find their own way to engage and flourish at a level which is not only enjoyable but appropriate to need and ability. We have every confidence this resource provides a strong foundation for an ambitious relationship with Table Tennis for people living with a disability or long term health condition.”
Anna continues: “The coronavirus pandemic has particularly impacted disabled people and people with long-term conditions, in terms of how active they have been able to be. Unfortunately, those people who could most benefit from sport are often those who are least able to take part. We see these guides as playing an important role in closing the gap between health and sport, to provide ideas that create opportunities for more people to have access to activities like table tennis. As well as linking with the Sport England strategy, research has shown that differences in physical activity levels amongst social groups is related to the persistence of health inequalities. Allied Health Professionals, such as occupational therapists, have an important role to play in tackling these kind of inequalities and creating a fairer society”.
The Guide is designed for anyone involved in playing, coaching and delivering table tennis, including: the general public, Active Partnership teams, coaches, Allied Health Professionals, coaches and other public heath staff.
The Therapeutic Use of Table Tennis guide is available now for free download from the Sport for Confidence website. If you are an NGB keen to work with Sport For Confidence, please contact Liz Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.