14 Aug 2022

Calls for outdoor table tennis tables for Dundalk

Calls for outdoor table tennis tables for Dundalk

Coláiste Chú Chulainn students Tsid Banda and Mohamed Abdullahi playing on the school's outdoor table tennis table

Councillor Thomas Sharkey has called on Louth County Council to place outdoor table tennis tables in local public open spaces to encourage physical activity among teenagers.

Cllr Sharkey, who is Principal of Coláiste Chú Chulainn, said the school has concrete outdoor table tennis tables and the students love playing the game.

The local councillor put forward a motion at last week's Louth County Council meeting that the local authority place outdoor table tennis tables in selected locations as part of a pilot scheme to encourage physical activity.

Cllr Sharkey, speaking about the motion, said: “In our school we got in contact with a construction company to create a mould for pouring concrete to make table tennis tables for outdoors.

“We were eager to find a new form of PE outdoor for kids and the teenagers love it.

“When you ask teenagers what they want to be in the spare time they just want to be with their friends and that is why we see them hanging around streets.

“But they can go into a shop and buy a cheap tennis table bat and a ping pong ball.

“It is very cheap and very accessible to play table tennis.

“When you look at your local park you see the swings and slides for the tots and the benches for us older people that need to sit down, but it's the gap in between - there is no facilities provided for teenagers to do an activity.

“We need something where kids can go and chat as they play.

“Not every kid or teenager wants to join a team to play sport."

Cllr Maeve Yore supported the motion saying it is a “win win situation for teenagers and people of all abilities”.

“It is something people of all abilities will be able to play, including wheelchair users'', she said.

“It is definitely worth exploring”.

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