Focus On... Table Tennis

Diversity and inclusion though table tennis in Aberdeen

People young and old, from a range of different backgrounds, are experiencing the benefits of table tennis in Aberdeen.

Re-building a community

The Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) Table Tennis Academy started in 2011, initially as a 6-week project in an attempt to rebuild the once vibrant table tennis community in Aberdeen.

The project was a major success and developed into the academy that runs today, with a large number of offshoot table tennis activities also running regularly within the facility, the city and across the wider region.

The project was helped with support from sportscotland’s Direct Club Investment (DCI) a National Lottery-funded club development fund. This allowed a staff member to be added specifically to support the Table Tennis Academy – a post which has continued through employment in the Aberdeen Sports Village. A further post was added through a second tranche of investment which aims to increase the development of the sport across the region.

A hub for diversity and inclusion

From the start, the Table Tennis Academy was open to all players who were interested in getting involved. The club is located within Aberdeen Sports Village, which gives people from local multi-cultural communities the opportunity to access sport – it also provides a sporting outlet for local low income areas.

Max Singer, Head Coach of the ASV Table Tennis Academy said: "The ASV Table Tennis Academy is proud to have attracted and accommodated a diverse range of players and coaches since its inception over 10 years ago.

"Our open and inclusive policy has without question enhanced the experience for all players and coaches, and has created a culture that supports and encourages all those involved to reach the highest level they aspire to within the sport."

Currently, sessions run five days a week, with the Monday and Friday sessions promoting an 'open to all’ environment. This approach allows beginners to join in and progress to playing table tennis at a higher level if they want to.

The academy has proved hugely successful with the Aberdeen based club providing the competitors who filled all three of the top places at the recent U14 Scottish Championships event.

Community spirit

To encourage young people along, the table tennis academy regularly visits local schools to deliver free sessions and tasters. Parents are encouraged to come along and help if they are interested, and this has led to several parents undertaking the Introduction to Coaching or Level 1 coaching qualifications. The academy has seen a fantastic uptake from a diverse group of parents and coaches assisting at sessions regularly, including people from Germany, Nigeria, and India.

Table Tennis is an international sport, perhaps, even more popular in countries overseas than in the UK. The Aberdeen Sports Village Table Tennis Academy recognises the opportunity they have to include new people into the city through the sport and they continue to work and develop table tennis as a way of building an inclusive community.

Find Out More

- About table tennis opportunities in your area from Table Tennis Scotland
- About ASV Table Tennis Academy
- Stories about Table Tennis on Sport First

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