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Nights out with a difference at Bounce
I first realised that ping-pong was cool when I watched industrial designer Ron Arad playing ping-pong on his very own, brushed steel, shiny table. It is a stunning example of what people can do when they think about sport from a completely different angle – in Ron’s case, the curved, metallic surface of the table is really an authentic piece of art. In some ways, it is not surprising that Ron chose ping-pong as a base for his vision – it is a sport that is enthralling, as it can be incredibly difficult and yet at the same time extremely easy to grasp quickly! In recent years, bars and clubs incorporating ping-pong have shot up around London, including the recently-opened Bounce in Holborn where I attended the opening last week.
Ping-pong has been a mainstay of urban regeneration projects for some time now, given the relatively cheap and durable equipment and the simplicity of the game. Indeed, there are some 300 million players worldwide, second only to football in terms of popularity! Coming from South Africa where weekends were spent on the beach, I am always looking for something to do on a Sunday. From now on, I may just head to Bounce, which combines ping-pong with a more premium feel, effectively blending casual recreation with great food, drink and a good DJ. Bounce was started by Dov Penzik, an accomplished ping-pong player, and Adam Breeden, who also founded All Star Lanes, the hugely popular dining/bowling amalgamation concept. The atmosphere is really stylish and quite edgy – just the kind of ‘community centre’ that I have been looking for.
There are a lot of the new tables cropping up, both in bars and in public spaces, which are the result of the work of PING! England, a charitable organisation that has put 700 tables in various towns and cities around the country over the past couple of years. As well as PING!’s amazing public service, it has also given businesses around the UK the chance to flourish by doing something a little differently, and this certainly seems to have taken off. Bounce has the option of taking out an annual membership or paying to play on a one-off basis, and the added benefit of an easy-to-play activity with a night out seems to have taken off amongst younger demographics.
Let me know your thoughts at email@example.com, and have an energetic week-end – come and find me at Bounce on Sunday!
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