Hannah Hicks who alongside Chris Doran provided the demonstrations
Photo By: Rémy Gros
The Grand Arcade Wigan; itís where you go for shopping, itís the home for a plethora of major stores but from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May 2012 it was the focal point for table tennis.
Increasing female participation was high on the agenda.
England internationals, Hannah Hicks and Chris Doran were present to give demonstrations and play all-comers.
Masterminding the activities was Steve Rowe, who is employed by the Wigan Athletic Community Trust, as a table tennis coach; he is promoting Aerobic Table Tennis for women and the project is growing rapidly.
In fact it is growing to such an extent that the English Table Tennis Association is considering using the programme as a basis to increase female participation in England.
Assisting Steve Rowe for the three days was Dave Goulden, a local international umpire to make sure that matters were conducted in a correct and proper manner.
Mood of Optimism
Currently there is a mood of great optimism in the town; their football club, Wigan Athletic recently staved off relegation from the English Premiership; they live to fight another day.
Nearby Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers were both relegated!
The town is situated in Greater Manchester, a city with a plethora of suburbs, Wigan being one of them and Trafford, the home of Manchester United being another.
The fans of Manchester City will tell you they are the true Manchester club, they play in the city, not in one of the suburbs!
Sport is high on the agenda in the area and thanks to the efforts of Steve Rowe and his colleagues; table tennis would seem to be growing.
Over the three days at the Grand Arcade Wigan children were able to try table tennis with a disability programme being held on the Friday.
Both Andrea Holt, a former England international and no.1 ranked female player and Michael Moir, the English Table Tennis Associationís North West Disability Officer, were present.
Furthermore, the Wigan Athletic Football Club mascot joined in the fun.
Also an area called, Latics Tiny Table Tennis, with six midi size tables was organised with the Wigan Athletic Community Trust helping immensely; a fact for which Steve Rowe is most grateful.
Why Latics? Latics is the nickname given to a football club, whose full name ends with Athletic; thus Wigan Athletic are the Latics.
More to Follow
Nevertheless, whether supporters of the Latics or whoever, a great event was organised in Wigan; as for Aerobics Table Tennis there is certainly more to come.
Watch this space.
The poster to promote the innovative occasion at the Grand Arcade Wigan
Poster Supplied by Steve Rowe