Shoreditch ping pong players break world record
Batty ping pongers in Shoreditch have netted a Guinness world record by having the most number of people playing in a single rally.
The world record had been held by a Chinese table tennis club, which managed to serve up 101 players last year, but the English Ping Pong Association (EPPA) managed to smash the record on Sunday (November 20) with 107 people successfully keeping the ball going.
The fast-paced game saw queues of players behind each side of the table, who each rushed forward to take their turn batting the ball at the arts centre venue Richmix, in Bethnal Green Road.
Dan Lines, who helps run the EPPA, said: “We are extremely proud to be claiming this table tennis world record for the UK, for London, and for ping pong.
“Our attempt was open to all, and the 107 record breakers included men and women, boys and girls, serious table tennis players, and casual ping pongers, from 11 years of age to over 70. We even had three members of the same family on holiday from their home in Cornwall.
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“Ping pong is a wonderfully accessible pastime which can be enjoyed by all and which brings people together. Everyone here today, whether part of the final successful record attempt or not, has helped to bring ping pong home.”
Dan, his twin brother Will, and friends Andy James and Nick Jobbings, have revived the EPPA, which was formed in 1901, but essentially disbanded three years later when it merged with the English Table Tennis Association.
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The re-formed EPPA is now a not-for-profit collective to encourage people to take up the sport, and the record attempt served as the group’s official launch.
A rival organisation, the UK Ping Pong Company, had organised a similar record-breaking attempt event, called ‘Pongathon’ at the same venue last month, but failed to snatch the record from the Chinese. Despite several attempts, the best effort was 94 players – just eight players away from glory.
For more information about the EPPA, visit www.pingpongengland.co.uk.