Steve serves up an aerobic world tour
Table-tennis without a bat, ball or table...not exactly the version of the sport one would expect to take off on a global scale.
But that is exactly what has happened thanks to one Wigan instructor.
Steve Rowe, a coach at Wigan table-tennis club, came up with the idea of “aerobic table tennis” over four years ago.
The idea is that the movements used in the sport are developed into an exercise regime with music playing in the background.
The original ploy was to get more girls into table-tennis but as it took off, it turned out that everyone wanted to do it.
The success of aerobic table-tennis spiralled and, as a result, Steve has been asked to travel to countries including Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Holland and Bulgaria to teach it.
His most recent trip to Canada certainly ranks as one of the most memorable.
“I was invited to the North West Territories,” he said.
“The children there don’t get much chance to take part in sport or any physical activity.
“I was initially apprehensive about how they would take to it. I wasn’t sure it would work.
“After a while though, they really got into it and they absolutely loved it. It was incredible.
“I went to Fort Province which is an aboriginal area and the children really need help staying healthy. They have a really tough life.”
Steve spent eight days in Canada and noticed a difference in attitude almost immediately.
Before leaving, he trained up a number of people to coach the sport and it is still being kept up weeks after he left.
Next up for the 54-year-old is a trip to Alicante for the Veteran Table-Tennis Championship where he will help with the warm-ups using his version of the sport.
“I’ll be teaching people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s there,” he said.
“It’s just an activity anyone can take part in. You just need music. You go along with the various moves to the beat and it enhances them.
“When I came up with the idea I never imagined it would take off as it has done, I’m so busy at the moment. I’ve also signed a contract with the Netherlands Table-Tennis Board to coach it too.”
Despite his new-found jet-setting lifestyle though, Steve is still keen to promote aerobic table tennis in Wigan. Any schools interested should email [email protected]