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Never mind the wind, just enjoy the game

Six new outdoor table tennis tables have been set up across Fenland - and the sport seems to be catching on fast.

Outdoor table tennis pic

The Manor Centre in Whittlesey, West End Park in March and Wisbech Park each now have two tables in place. Bats and balls can be borrowed free from the local leisure centres.

All six tables are being well used. In the month since they were set up, the Manor Centre has loaned out about 80 sets and the George Campbell Centre more than 60. Other players have been bringing their own equipment

Outdoor table tennis is one of the sports being encouraged by Active Fenland, a three-year project being funded by a £250,000 grant awarded to Fenland District Council by Sport England's Community Sport Activation Fund earlier this year.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, the council's Cabinet member responsible for sport and leisure, had a go at the game in March's West End Park last week.

She said: "This is a great sport. Anyone can have a go and you don't have to be brilliant to enjoy it. In some ways it's much harder than playing indoors as the wind can play havoc with the ball. But that only adds to the fun - and having fun is really the whole point.

"At the moment Fenland has fewer people playing any kind of sport than anywhere else in Cambridgeshire. To change that, the first step is get more people to see that they can actually enjoy taking exercise.

"For some, that could be playing table tennis; others might like to try jogging or running, using one of the special run routes we launched last month. Whatever suits the individual best."

Joining Cllr Tanfield for the game was Chad Bassett, who plays for Trojans in the Wisbech Table Tennis league. He said: "I'm used to playing indoors and this is a definitely a whole different ball game. But it's a fun way of getting people interested in table tennis who've never played it before."

Article added October 20, 2015