Bats at the ready for ping pong record attempt

English Ping-pong Association hoping to break world record

Pic: Ping Pong Association England

Bethnal Green could be shot into the record books this weekend as locals attempt to serve up the world’s largest-ever ping-pong rally.

Enthusiasts from the English Ping Pong Association hope to smash the current record of 101 players in a rally – and the only rule is that they cannot drop a single shot.

The marathon event, to be hosted at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre this Sunday November 20, will see more than 50 players lined on either side of a table as they attempt to immortalise their names in the Guinness Book of Records.

But it will be far from an afternoon of blood, sweat and tears.

Organisers from the Association – reformed this year after a 107-year hiatus – are calling on members of the public to come along and enjoy a light-hearted,  entertaining day that will include music from DJs, a bar and practice tables.

Will Lines, 35, from Hackney, is a member of a London ping-pong club that has been going for four years. He said: “We want everyone to come along and get involved with the social side of the sport – that is what it is all about.

“While table tennis has quite strict rules and regulations, ping-pong is more relaxed and informal. It can be played in a variety of settings and ways, such as ‘round the table’.”

This takes the sport back to its Victorian origins, he explains: “Legend has it that the Victorians would play it as an after-dinner entertainment, using champagne corks and books for bats.”

But for the record-breaking effort the formalities will be observed and organisers have vowed to give as many attempts as necessary.

No training is required, but Lines has one piece of advice for any ping-pong pretenders wishing to participate:

“Just don’t hit the ball too hard – or it will make it too difficult for the next person!”

If you want to take part registration starts at midday on Sunday November 20 at Rich Mix arts centre on 35-47 Bethnal Green Road E1 6LA.

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