Ah, the end of January. ‘Tis the season to accept that you’ve broken all the promises you made to yourself at New Year’s and start coming up with some resolutions for the new semester instead. Exercise more, study better, spend less time in pubs, save money; these are the slogans of late January.
Well, we can help with all of that. Here’s 9 reasons why table tennis should be a feature of every student’s life in Cardiff during the new term.
- Table tennis will improve your grades.
Yes, you read that right, but no, we’re not offering any guarantees. Studies have shown that table tennis stimulates several key parts of your brain simultaneously and so can assist in building up your overall levels of concentration and alertness. Top players in the sport find themselves able to think several shots ahead, forming lightning-quick strategies even as the ball is in motion at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour! That’s the kind of focus you could really do with in the library.
All this rapid tactic-formation has led to table tennis being described as a kind of ‘aerobic chess’. We’re pretty happy with this nickname as we think it really does the justice to the importance of mental agility within the game.
Amongst older people table tennis programs are increasingly being recommended as a means of warding off dementia. If it works for them, we reckon it can definitely help keep your mind on that tricky textbook.
- It’s cheap and it’s only round the corner.
Some local trivia for you: did you know that Wales’ only permanent, purpose-built table tennis centre can be found in Cathays? Well, it can. Cardiff City Table Tennis Club is tucked away at the bottom of Maindy Road. (The other end of the road that Lidl is on) It’s less than 5 minutes walk from Talybont and about 10 mere minutes from the Cardiff University Student Union, so why haven’t you visited us yet?
To sweeten the deal, the club is cheap, very cheap. The student rate is just £2 per person per hour for a ‘Pay as you Play’ session and even cheaper on Tuesday’s ‘Student Night’.
But what about all that fancy equipment that you’ll need? What about all the special aerodynamic table tennis hats and cloaks? Well, we’re not sure if that stuff really exists but we are certain that you won’t need it. Bat and ball hire is free at the club, so all that you need to bring to these sessions is yourself and someone willing to play with you.
- You can stay out of the rain.
If you’re new to Cardiff then we’re sorry to let you know that your chances of taking up snowboarding or beach volleyball are pretty limited in the City. Even for the less exotic sports, any day and all year round, our beloved Welsh weather still holds the potential to ruin any outdoor plan at all.
Here at Cardiff City Table Tennis Club, however, rain has never once stopped play. In fact, we table tennis types laugh carelessly in the face of the wildest of weather. Our club is warm and dry with central heating and a roof; that may not sound like much, but in January that feels like a deal-breaker.
- Anyone can play it.
Deservedly table tennis has earned a reputation as one of the most accessible sports out there. To use an old cliché, it’s easy to learn but difficult to master; and therein lies the fun. For complete beginners, it’ll only take you a few minutes to get your first rally going and once that happens, you’re away, you’re playing table tennis. And from there, the sky’s the limit.
Cardiff City Table Tennis Club prides itself on being ‘a club for all’, and that means we’re here for all abilities and levels of seriousness. Bring a friend along and knock a ball about at our casual ‘Pay as you Play’ sessions, or if you want to get more competitive then you can always join one of our many club teams competing across the British and local league systems. If you’re taking the first option but want to work your way towards the second, you could even book some one-on-one lessons at the club. That way, you can thrash the friend you brought along, don’t tell them about the lessons, and lie about being a natural.
- You can play when it suits you.
Too broke to go out in the evenings? Got a free hour between lectures? Cardiff City Table Tennis Club has structured its timetable around when you might need us. The club has just begun opening between 2 and 5 every weekday afternoon, so if you need to fill a timetable gap, or just unwind after lectures, then we’re only a short walk off campus. If you’re worried about being a sweaty mess then you needn’t be. We find that players hardly ever sweat enough to require a shower after the game. Taking up a casual lunchtime sport will rarely prove this practical.
There are also opportunities for you to drop in for ‘Pay as you Play’ on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. In these sessions you can play for an hour or more for less than the price of a pint.
- You can chat to your friends and make some new ones.
Alongside that whole degree thing, people are in uni to try new things and meet new people. If table tennis is new for you then we’d love to show you just how sociable it can be. While it’s hard to imagine conversations about politics or last night’s TV proving very successful on a rugby field or football pitch, our club is often awash with chatter even as the ball is in play.
Ours is a community club, and we treat that phrase as more than just a title. Our members are as welcoming as our staff, and we’re keen to get to know anyone who wants to know table tennis. Our Tuesday night sessions are reserved for students only whereas the adult group coaching sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings are open to anyone, so there are some great opportunities to either meet other students or to break out of the student bubble.
- It’s the nation’s new favourite bar sport.
For better or worse, table tennis is pretty cool right now. If you don’t believe us then just look up the range of table tennis or ‘ping pong’ bars springing up in nightlife hotspots across London, Manchester and, that famous bastion of cool, Aberystwyth.
If this trends keeps up then soon you won’t be able to move through city centres at night for all the table tennis tables crammed across the dancefloors of your favourite bars and clubs. When the hipster table tennis revolution/apocalypse comes, just make sure you’ve already got some practice in.
- You’ll be exercising and you won’t even know it.
Table tennis is a workout that works around you. If you play your game fast and aggressive then you’ll get fit quick, but if you’re just trying to keep a gentle rally going then that’s great exercise too. One great thing about table tennis as a form of exercise is that it works muscles in your arms, legs and core without putting considerable strain on your joints. In fact, as a low-impact non-contact sport, table tennis is one of the safest sports around. This often makes our game the pastime of choice for athletes recovering from other sports injuries, or simply trying to avoid incurring new ones.
Beginners often say that they forget that their exercising when playing table tennis because their minds are usually so focused on the tactics of the game. When was the last time that happened to you at the gym?
- It’ll calm you down.
If you’re not thinking about the exercise you’re doing then you definitely won’t be thinking about your upcoming exams, your criminally high amount of weekly reading, or the number of hours left until your coursework deadline. Ah, bliss.
Beginners and experts agree that table tennis is a fantastic stress reliever. The necessity of quick thinking in the game means that you can, for once, live only in the here and now, in the beats of a rally, between the ping and the pong, the serve and return, in a constant steady rhythm. Now, doesn’t that sound peaceful?… “What exams?”
For more information on Cardiff City Table Tennis Club visit our website or get in touch with us via social media: