The sound of table tennis bat on ball reverberated around the country on the fourth National #TableTennisDay.
Hundreds of clubs, schools, workplaces, local authorities and other organisations put on free events, encouraging people to pick up a bat and have a go at the sport.
The aim was to get one million people playing and though exact calculations are not possible, we do know that the day had a huge reach on social and conventional media.
At least twice during the day #TableTennisDay was trending on Twitter, with 328 posts using the hashtag, reaching 492,000 users. Another 117 posts used the hashtag #nationaltabletennisday, reaching an additional 161,000 accounts.
On Facebook, #TableTennisDay had an overall reach of almost 36-and-a-half million people worldwide, helped by posts from SPORTbible and GiveMeSport, with more than 12,000 ‘likes’.
Laleham Gap School in Thanet were among the schools taking part. Paul Ursell, teacher and coach at the school for children with special autism, language and communication needs, said:
As well as having the PE department teach table tennis all day, we had 55 people compete (27 staff and 28 children) at lunch time in our inaugural Staff versus Pupils tournament – 88 matches were played, with staff edging a narrow 45-33 victory. However, with the pupils’ clubs now ensuring the pupils are making rapid progress I would suggest they are probably favourites to reverse this next year!
Among the wide range of organisations taking part were: Anglia Ruskin University, Osterley Park (National Trust), Mansfield Museum, Active Glos, various Ping! cities (including Barnsley, Nottingham, Plymouth, Exeter and Blackpool), Cornwall Sport, Leeds & York NHS PFT, Battle of the Paddle, Health@Work, University of Liverpool – Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease, Blackstar Solutions, Shropshire Leisure, Energise Me, oxmeinfo, Prysm Group, Public Health England (NW), St Austell Printing, Active Cumbria, The Workstation (Sheffield), Phoenix Group.
Here are some of the best social media posts from yesterday:
— Ravensthorpe Primary (@RavensthorpeP) July 12, 2017
— Limitless Digital (@Doncaster_Web) July 12, 2017
— Dom (@dommodernist) July 13, 2017
— Active Cumbria (@ActiveCumbria) July 12, 2017
— Workstation (@theworkstation) July 12, 2017
— Phoenix Group (@PhoenixGroupUK) July 12, 2017
— Sarah Smith (@Sarah_L_Carter) July 12, 2017
— Corby Town TTC (@corbytownttc) July 12, 2017
We will be deciding on the winners of our competitions to win visits from England stars in the next few days.