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Table tennis, or ping pong as it's fondly called, can be a fun sport for your kids. It's an easy to play, low impact sport that has multiple benefits for its participants. An Olympic sport since 1988, table tennis is the second largest played sport in the world. Known as a life-time sport, it can be played your entire life!! It is common among wheelchair bound individuals and is also integrated in the Para Olympics. Here are 6 great reasons why your child should play:

1. Early social bonding: Whether you play in schools, community centers or at home, table tennis is a great sport to play with friends and family as it offers a great way to bond. Communication skills can be improved as youngsters play games and learn to play the sport. From my experience as a coach, I have noticed that as children are exposed to the world of table tennis and sharing the same interest they become more open to socializing. Playing with the family is always fun and can bring members closer as more quality time can be spent on the table. 

2. Physical well-being: Playing table tennis frequently is a great way to stay in shape and improve hand eye coordination. Studies done in different parts of the world show that its quick movements, repetitive actions and multidirectional movements are some of the ways to promote your child's quickness, agility and physical development. Many schools around the world implement this low impact, indoor sport into their Physical Education programs because of its many benefits to children. 

3. Brain development: "Good for the brain" According to Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University, "In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions." Table tennis works parts of the brain that are responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy - areas that could be growing stronger with each match. This makes table tennis ideal for your child's young and developing brain. 

4. Relatively inexpensive: Compared to other sports, table tennis is a very cheap sport to start playing. The equipment needed is fairly inexpensive and can last a very long time. It requires limited indoor space and can be played all year which makes it ideal for schools, churches or clubs. 

5. Everyone can play: Table tennis can be played by anyone no matter size, age, or gender. The mental alertness encouraged by the sport's tactical challenges and ability to concentrate on applying these tactic is good for all ages. Also referred to as a life long sport, we have seen players in the sport that start from 4 years old and individuals that still play as old as 100 years old. 

6. The fun factor: Whether played recreationally or professionally, table tennis is easy to learn but difficult to master - the game offers a fun factor unrivaled by no other. Ping pong, the recreational game is enjoyed by over 20 million Americans who play mostly in garages and basements. Table Tennis, the Olympic sport has over 300 million active members of governing associations across the globe.

 

Written by: Andrew Williams

Posted in: Home & Family