A Wigan man is “absolutely buzzing” with the impact of his table tennis fitness class for young people, which has received global acclaim.
Steve Rowe is encouraging youngsters across the globe to take part in Aerobic Table Tennis, which eases youngsters into the sport through rhythmic exercise sessions which utilise table tennis moves.
The project started right here in Wigan in 2011, in Steve’s living room.
From its humble beginnings, Aerobic Table Tennis has expanded across the world, with Steve jetting off to the likes of Canada and Spain to introduce the project to local schools and clubs.
It is now set to be exhibited at the World Table Tennis Championships, which kick off in Sweden later this month.
Steve, 56, said: “It started as a way to get kids more active and keep fit.
“It began in my living room, playing table tennis to the beat of music.
“I visited a few schools in Wigan, doing lessons for free just to introduce it to them, and the reaction I got was very positive. So I made it my mission to make it a worldwide programme.”
Steve’s work soon caught the eye of table tennis clubs around the world, leading to launches in schools across Toronto, to which Steve is a frequent visitor.
And later this month, Steve will see his project reach new heights, when it is staged at the World Table Tennis Championships in Sweden.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” Steve said.
“Even in those early days, I said to my wife that maybe one day they’ll ask me to do this at the world championships. Now they’ve invited me to Sweden.”
Steve will also visit Swedish schools in the lead up to the tournament, to get youngsters excited about the championships.
Steve went on: “It’s so much fun. The kids absolutely love it. They are all absolutely buzzing.
“We do side steps, forehand and backhand strokes, to the beat of music. It creates really good rhythm and timing, so when they move on to play table tennis, they already have that.
“It’s working well, I’m really pleased.”
But despite the new global appeal for Aerobic Table Tennis, Steve is now turning his attention to a little closer to home.
“I want more schools in Wigan to start using it,” he said.
“I’ve been going here there and everywhere with it, but not had chance to give it a good go here in my hometown. I’m pretty sure all the schools here would love it.”
Any Wigan schools who wish to get involved with Aerobic Table Tennis can contact Steve on firstname.lastname@example.org.