15 Jan 2018

Granted city status in 2002 as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II, Lisburn in Northern Ireland was the most recent destination for Steve Rowe and his innovative Aerobic Table Tennis, a fitness programme based on the sport and particularly aimed at inspiring girls to take part in physical activity.

The visit commenced on Wednesday 10th January and concluded on Saturday 13th January.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably, the visit was the culmination of four years’ planning; discussions having started in 2013 when Steve Rowe was contacted by Arnold Morgan, Chair of Table Tennis Ulster.

However, despite efforts from all concerned and Arnold Morgan being motivated to stage Aerobic Table Tennis sessions, the project had to be put on hold. Contact was maintained, discussion continued, ideas were exchanged, the eventual outcome being one of success and details agreed.

Paramount to making matters possible was John McFaul from Lisburn Rapid Table Tennis Club, he is a major driving force for sport in the region being the Active Clubs Co-ordinator for Table Tennis Ulster and Sport Northern Ireland.

Steve Rowe conducts an Aerobic Table Tennis session (Photo: courtesy of Steve Rowe)


Thanks largely to his efforts, in addition to Lisburn Rapid Table Tennis Club, a visit to Pond Park Primary School was organised, as well as an Aerobic Table Tennis Workshop for those wishing to become instructors.

“I was so happy to finally be in Ireland, it had been a long wait but worth it. We visited a primary school where 100 excited kids took part in the sessions. It makes me so pleased to see the kids with big smiley faces. The club visit was fantastic; the hospitality by John McFaul was second to none, I was so well looked after and I very much look forward to going back to Ireland.” Steve Rowe

Notably, no-one was left out; even the Ireland Junior Performance squad took part in an Aerobic Table Tennis warm up, along with club members.

“Aerobic Table Tennis is a superb fitness and fun focused way to actively learn and enjoy the Olympic sport of table tennis; with generic movements combined with table tennis strokes to the beat of music, it embraces all age groups and all abilities producing a fun filled way to learn the sport and to stay fit.” John McFaul

Pupils at Pond Park Primary School enjoyed the session (Photo: courtesy of Steve Rowe)


Welcomed by young players of all standard; also Physical Education teachers, not knowing what to expect, were also enthused. Everyone responded in a positive manner.

“The success of Aerobic Table Tennis around the world is no surprise to me. I look forward to sharing the message throughout Ulster and Ireland. Table Tennis Ulster is delighted to be associated with Aerobic Table Tennis and to have our very own qualified instructors available for our organisation.“ Arnold Morgan

Lisburn Rapid Table Tennis Club and Table Tennis Ulster will now use Aerobic Table Tennis as part of their development programme; the aim being to introduce newcomers to table tennis, especially girls and women.

Steve Rowe anticipates to return to Ireland later in the year.

Steve Rowe (left) receives a pennant from (right) Arnold Morgan. John McFaul (far right) looks on (Photo: courtesy of Steve Rowe)
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