Tennis on a nine by five table

Ping pong by its colloquial name

The second most played sport in the world

The Victorians would be amazed by its fame.


It began as an aristocratic English pastime

Now the Chinese totally dominate the game.

It is as physically demanding as tennis

But cerebral like chess all the same.

It started out with just simple sandpaper bats

But graduated to hi tech rubbers and sponges.

But the essence of the game has remained constant

With its spins and its drives and its lunges.

It's played at the full Olympic level

And it's played in the local youth clubs

It's played in all the corporate boardrooms

And it's played in the parks and the pubs.


It's played on the decks of cruise liners

And it's played in the local town squares

It's played in our gardens and garages

And it's played in local leagues everywhere.


It's played by the rich and the famous

The celebrities just can't get enough

And it's played by street kids the world over

Even though the conditions and equipment maybe rough.


They say that football is the most popular sport in the world

With its mega buck and big corporate deals

But it's ping pong the really captures the heart of the populous

If you've ever played it you just know how it feels.


It doesn't seem to be quite as corrupt as many other sports

Though I'm certain there is still cheating here and there

But strange as it may seem, when you play a game of ping

There's a certain childish innocence just hanging in the air.


There are enthusiasts still playing into their eighties

These veterans forever travelling from place to place

Their love of the sport is undiminished

Still competing with a smile on their face.


And the disabled have taken to ping pong

With a dexterity that never ceases to amaze.

Some use it for exercise and therapy

Others take it to the Para Olympian phase.


Age, nation and gender don't seem to matter

And neither does the level of play.

The name of the game is participation

Inclusion in the table tennis way.


I've loved the game of ping pong since childhood

It's been my hobby since I was a boy.

I've been player and coach and manager

And even in the governing body's employ.

And despite this new age of technology

Where computers are as common as toys

The tactile pleasures of table tennis combat

Still seem to deliver us infinite joys.


And there is no sign of the pleasures of ping pong waning

Quite the contrary, the game's on the rise.

There's a renaissance in many towns and cities

But to me this is of no great surprise.

For in this age of increasing automation

With AI robots beginning their rise

I suspect that the intriguing challenge of ping pong

Will help to keep humanity alive.


End Copyright JPK 26/2/15


Last Updated ( Monday, 21 May 2018 07:09 )