Monday, January 27, 2014
Wheelchair Table Tennis
Other than a table, a net, a decent bat and a bucket load of balls (metaphorically and literally), for table tennis you will a sharp eye, skill and determination.
Unfortunately, these are skills that I am not gifted with but when I took part in a session with some serious table tennis players up in IWA's HQ, I learnt that you can perfect them with practice and will power.
The tables are low enough to fit a wheelchair and for someone standing, and out in IWA the classes were a mixed group of different ages and abilities. Every person learns their own way to play - depending on their abilities - but you will learn all of the correct ways to serve, to hit the ball and, most importantly, the rules of competitive table tennis.
In my group, there were people who compete internationally with table tennis and those who do it as a very serious hobby. The IWA host beginner classes and you can then graduate on to the advanced classes and maybe even go pro with it.
With most sports, you thrive on the competitive edge to table tennis; either with your own personal best or the person on the far side of the table.
Physically, it builds up strength in your arms and your core. Mentally, it encourages you to think and react quickly and it gives you the eyesight of a hawk.
Most impressively, if a ball dropped to the floor (hey, it happens the best of us), they had an adapted badminton racquet that scoops up balls so you don't have to bend down. This is great for people with back problems and so on.
If you're interested in taking part in wheelchair table tennis, iwasport.com explains it more here.