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Shoreditch ping pongers hope they won’t drop the ball on world record attempt

PUBLISHED: 16:17 16 November 2011 | UPDATED: 16:40 16 November 2011

The English Ping Pong Association practising for their record-breaking attempt

The English Ping Pong Association practising for their record-breaking attempt

The English Ping Pong Association

Batty ping pongers in Shoreditch are hoping to net a Guinness world record this Sunday (November 20) by having the most number of people in a single rally – and they are looking for players to help them achieve victory.

The fast-paced game will involve a queue of people behind each side of the table, who will each rush forward to keep the ball going even as the players change.

The world record is currently held by a Chinese table tennis club, which managed to serve up 101 players last year. The latest attempt is being organised by the English Ping Pong Association (EPPA), which is trying to recruit keen table tennis players to participate at arts centre Richmix, in Bethnal Green Road, from 12noon.

A rival organisation, the UK Ping Pong Company, organised a similar 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.

The EPPA is run by Dan Lines, of Stoke Newington, who said: “Competition between us is fierce, and we were secretly a bit relieved ‘Pongathon’ didn’t manage to break the record. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it when we try.”

Dan, his twin brother Will, and friend Andy James have revived the EPPA, which was formed in 1901, but essentially disbanded three years later when it merged with the English Table Tennis Association.

The reformed EPPA is now a not-for-profit collective to encourage people to take up the sport, and the record attempt will serve as the group’s official launch.

Dan said: “Ahead of the Olympics in 2012 it’s good to remember that sport isn’t just about winning gold medals – sometimes playing just for the fun of it is just as valuable in society.

“We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to officially launch the EPPA than by reclaiming a record from the professionals of the table tennis world and doing it with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.”

To find out more, or to sign up to the record-breaking attempt, visit the EPPA’s website at www.pingpongengland.co.uk.


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