Pop-up ping pong a big hit at launch

The Oxford Times: First time table tennis player Jacub Smith tries his luck against a machine Buy this photo First time table tennis player Jacub Smith tries his luck against a machine

People across Oxford are picking up their paddles as Ping! returns, with pop-up table tennis tables appearing in 12 locations across the city.

One of the first to take to the tables was 12-year-old Jacub Smith from Blackbird Leys.

He took part in a launch event at Templars Square Shopping Centre on Monday where people tested their skills against a robot.

The Oxford Academy pupil said: “I loved it, it was really fun.”

His uncle, David Johnson, took him to the event. The 43-year-old said: “I used to play a lot when I was younger and Jacub wanted to see what it was all about so we went along.

“He absolutely loved it, and he was really interested in the machine he was playing against. It was brilliant.”

The event runs until September 7. Last year’s Ping! Oxford saw some 21,000 people playing the sport over five weeks in parks, restaurants and community centres.

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