23. Table Tennis
Table Tennis: practice your skills by balancing a table tennis ball on a bat, then bouncing it 10 times on the forehand, and 10 times on the backhand without dropping it.
Table Tennis is an Olympic, Commonwealth Games and Paralympic sport and is enjoyed by all age sectors of the community from Juniors through to Veteran competitors. The sport is represented in all States and Territories throughout Australia. Table tennis is an indoor game, based on tennis but played with small bats and ball bounced on a table divided by a net. Also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff (this term was coined because of the fast back and forth movement of the paddles!)
One of the fastest-growing sports, table tennis is played by millions of people every day. In China, there are close to 300 million table tennis players. A great way to relieve stress and improve mental health, it also improves concentration, helps with problem solving skills and strategizing, improves balance, coordination and motor skills, it stimulates the brain, improves mental acuity and memory and improves reflex and reaction time.
Table Tennis Australia is the National Sporting Organisation for the Sport of Table Tennis in Australia and is affiliated with both the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) which oversees the International governance and development of Table Tennis and the OTTF (Oceania Table Tennis Federation) which oversees the sports development at a regional level. Players can compete at Club, State and National Levels and also compete at Olympic level in able-bodied or Para-table tennis. Australia has its own table tennis legend, Jian Fang Lay. She has competed at six Olympic games!
Table Tennis SA aims to increase participation in Table Tennis throughout SA and promote excellence in performance. It’s a not for profit organisation that works with Clubs, Associations and other delivery partners to introduce more people to the sport and to inspire a new generation to be involved in table tennis. There are clubs all over our State to join. Smash Hit – is a 12 week junior program beginning in late October each year, offered by individual Clubs. It includes a regular weekly competition against players of similar ability. Catering for juniors of all abilities, it offers a pathway to the sport of table tennis in a fun and exciting way. Open to all school age participants under 19 and players are grouped into Beginners, Competent and Advanced.
Spinneroos is an initiative through Table Tennis Australia. Their vision is for primary school children to bounce into table tennis with a smile and a group of new friends. They do this by providing engaging and fun activities in a safe environment in which children can get active, express themselves and create great memories with other Spinneroos. Children go through 8 exciting weeks of table tennis, receive a personalised equipment pack and develop hand-eye coordination as well as social skills. The Spinneroos program is offered in every State and Territory.
Para-Table Tennis is the 3rd largest paralympic sport for physically and intellectually impaired players. It was first played in the Paralympic Games in 1960 and has been included ever since. Australia has won 4 Gold Medals, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze with the latest wins being in Tokyo in 2020. Paralympics Australia has a great info sheet about the sport.
Table Tennis Australia and Special Olympics Australia have partnered to help people with an intellectual impairment access the physical and social benefits of Table Tennis by gaining exposure to Special Olympics Australia’s platforms and competition pathway. This includes regular competitions, annual State Games, National Games held every 4 years and the ultimate event, the Special Olympics World Games held every 4 years.
- Para-Table Tennis (Disability Sports Australia)