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Young people are getting hooked on table tennis, thanks to modern technology

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Kenfig Table Tennis Club is using modern laser technology to help make their sport even more appealing to young people.  

The Bridgend club, set up in 2022, has players from 10 years-old up to seniors, but the majority are aged over 60.  

Thanks to Sport Wales' Be Active Wales Fund – which uses National Lottery money - they can now incorporate laser guided play into their sessions. They are the only club in Wales, and possibly the UK, to offer this.  

”I was ten years old when Star Wars came out and ever since then I’ve been hooked with lasers," explained Simon Lau from the club. Simon studied laser technology at university and has worked with laser technology since then. He continued: "People have the impression that kids are stuck in their bedrooms, gaming on the phone or on a computer. I thought we could use this laser technology to introduce like a gaming scenario within actual sports." 

Table Tennis Table with lasers
The laser system in action

 

Laser table tennis uses state-of-the-art, modern technology with a three colour laser to project graphics and animation onto a table tennis table. It can be used as a training aid to direct the player and use graphics to show where to play the ball.  

Ben Thomas from the club said: "It’s my first time using it and it's already helped me to know where to play my shots and what to do." Ben, who enjoys all sport explained: "Table tennis is so passionate and it's played all around the world. So, to have the facilities I do here, it's really good." 

 

Simon Lau, Kenfig Table Tennis founder
Simon Lau, Kenfig Table Tennis founder

 

Simon hopes that the fun element of mixing technology and sport can help young people get into a habit of attending a weekly sport club and set a good habit for life. He explains: "Young players are always the lifeblood of any club. I think it's good for the club on the whole. I've been involved with sport all my life and I know the positive benefits that it can bring for all people, young and old." 

"This is going to be massive, the kids will love it," said Cerys Evans from Table Tennis Wales. "I know as soon as we get primary school children in, they're going to be obsessed." She added: "The Be Active Wales Fund has allowed so many clubs across the country to buy new equipment and upskill their coaches to create really positive environments for sport. It’s great to see how Kenfig Table Tennis Club has thought outside the box by considering how modern technology can also play a role in making sport even more enjoyable." 

Kenfig Table Tennis Club received £9,354 from Sport Wales. As well as funding  equipment including a laser scanner and computer, the money has also been used to buy new table tennis tables. 

The Be Active Wales Fund is funded with National Lottery money. All not-for-profit sport clubs and organisations in Wales can apply for grants between £300 and £50,000 to improve access to physical activity. 

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