THE first National Table Tennis Day was celebrated in the sunshine in Bradford's Centenary Square.

Several players from Haworth Hawks Table Tennis Club and Bradford Grammar School demonstrated their ping-pong skills and got at least 100 members of the public to join in, be it in round-the-world competitions, beat the expert or merely playing with friends.

Included were people who had never played before or who hadn’t played for years.

Information on local clubs, summer courses and venues around the Bradford district were on display, as well as Maddy Silberberg’s ‘Bling Your Bat’ entries in a national competition run by Table Tennis England.

Maddy, 14, and Emily Mellor, 11, started the day with a demonstration using ‘blinged bats’.

The event was organised specifically to promote Bradford Hawks Table Tennis Club, which coaches boys and girls aged eight and upwards.

There are spaces at the sessions held at Bradford Girls' Grammar School, Squire Lane on Saturdays (1-3pm) at a cost of £4 per session.

To encourage the youngsters, there is a monthly trophy awarded for the most improved and hard-working player, and ten-year-old Leesha Ahir has won the trophy twice in three months.

She is a pupil at the school and started off playing in the Friday After School Club.

Players at the club that show commitment and progress well in developing their skills will have the opportunity to go for trials to access Yorkshire regional coaching sessions.

For further information, contact coach John Ainley on 07766-262957 or e-mail him at

If you would like a longer taster of table tennis over the summer, you could also book on to one of the Kings Camps three-hour sessions that John will be coaching on August 1, 8, 15 and 22 at Bradford Girls' Grammar School.