Hundreds of workplaces have caught the ping pong bug thanks to our Loop at Work programme. Steve Best, Change Manager (and table tennis player) at Phoenix Group, tells of his experience.
I used to love table tennis when I was younger and the annual Butlins tournaments were legendary. I was actually quite a decent standard but life took over and I reluctantly hung up my bat when I was in my late teens.
I work for the insurance company, the Phoenix Group, and to my absolute delight they purchased a table tennis package from Table Tennis England for employees to use. Now in my 50s, I was a little rusty but soon back into the swing of things and before long I was playing regularly and part of a growing number of regular players at work.
Me and my colleagues play whenever we have a moment, during the working day, after work or during lunch times. Recognising how popular table tennis was, our employers then decided to subsidise coaching twice a week to improve our game. This has meant that people who had never played before are now quite a decent standard. It also meant that I was able to try out a few different techniques under the guidance of the coaches to minimise twisting and save my knees!
As a regular player, I love to encourage other employees to take part and the great thing about table tennis is that anybody can get involved, regardless of fitness or ability levels. Sometimes colleagues need a little help to get started but after a few weeks they generally get ‘the table tennis bug’ and then there is no stopping them.
There is always a relaxed welcoming atmosphere around the tables but once a year, things get a bit more competitive and we have an in-house competition that is great fun and a brilliant way to bring people together and raise money for charity.
If you enjoy table tennis then it is definitely worth investigating whether your place of work would like to invest in a Loop at Work package. It is a great addition to our workplace and the number of employees involved is growing week by week.