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Here comes Ping! Bristol - are you ready to play?

From Friday (June 29) local people of all ages and abilities can take part in Ping! Bristol, where 46 ping pong tables will spring up at local landmarks, open spaces, tourist attractions and parks across the city – including Bristol Zoo Gardens.

The tables will be up for four weeks for everyone to enjoy - from complete novices to seasoned table tennis players. To join in the fun, would-be ping pong players simply borrow a bat and ball from the side of the table or from the Ping! Bristol volunteer, or even bring your own, and get started.

Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, Ping! Bristol is produced in association with the city council who have organised a programme of ping-pong events and activities. 

There will be a table at Bristol Zoo over the coming weeks, as well as at Bristol Cathedral, Castle Park and Queens Square among others.

“We are delighted to a part of the national Ping! Initiative,” says Bristol’s executive member for festivals and communities, Councillor Guy Poultney. “We want to get people taking up and playing sport more regularly. Table tennis appeals to lots of people of every age and background. And there will be the chance to play in some of Bristol’s best-loved parks and city centre spaces.”

Ping! Bristol launches with a ping pong bonanza on Friday, June 29 from 12noon to 6pm at Anchor Square. There will be table tennis show matches, dressing-up fun and prizes. 

Speaking about Ping! Sport England Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “Ping! has proved one of our most successful sports participation projects, attracting over 150,000 participants to date. Moreover, our research shows that once people start playing they don’t want to stop. We hope Bristol will build on this.”

For event information and table locations visit


For press enquiries please contact:

Lucy King, T: 0117 974 7306, Email:

Hannah Worrall,T: 0117 974 7309, email:

Notes to editors

About Ping!

Ping! was created by Sing London, the participatory arts organisation whose city-wide  projects aim to lift the public’s spirit and include London’s Street Pianos Project and Talking Rubbish bins

Ping! Bristol is delivered in partnership with Bristol City Council and the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).  Ping! is supported by National Lottery investment from Sport England, as part of its work to deliver a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Some facts about ping pong

‘Flim-Flam', 'Gossima', 'Whiff Whaff’, ‘Ping Pong’ - whatever the name, it began as an English parlour game in the 1890's and was played on a dining room table.

The original bat was a book!  Today, bats are made of wood or plastic.

Table tennis was admitted as a full medal sport at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Current world powers in table tennis are China, Korea, Japan and Germany.

There are currently more than 300 million players worldwide, making it the second most popular sport after football.

Table tennis is one of the five fastest growing sports in England.

134,900 people now play table tennis weekly, which means nearly 50,000 more people are playing since last year.


Bristol Zoo Gardens

  • Bristol Zoo is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day. 
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on income from visitors and supporters to continue its important work. 
  • Bristol Zoo is involved with more than 100 co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species. 
  • Itemploys over 150 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work. 
  • Bristol Zoo supports – through finance and skill sharing - 15 projects in the UK and abroad that conserveand protectsome of the world’s most endangered species.
  • In 2011 Bristol Zoo celebrated its 175th birthday. Over that past 175 years, the Zoo has brought six generations of Bristolians closer to wildlife, helped save over 175 species from extinction, established over 30 field conservation and research programmes all over the world, showed 40 millionschool-aged children the wonder of nature and given more than 90 million visitors a wonderful day out.
  • In 2010 Bristol Zoo Gardens set up a Conservation Fund to raise vital funds to help care for threatened animals and plants – both in the Zoo and through the conservation work we do in the UK and around the world.
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.