Table tennis is known to help people with Parkinson’s Disease because of its focus on balance, hand-eye coordination, rhythmic movements and concentration. The physical and cognitive elements involve anticipation of movement required to return the ball, coordination and planning, mobility involving twisting the body, and lateral stepping.

Table Tennis Ulster have been running the weekly Bat ‘N’ Chat programme since 27th February on Tuesday mornings from 11am to 12pm at Lisburn Racquets Club. Eight weeks have now been completed and an average of 12 people regularly attend each session with numbers growing. Carers sometimes join in and are encouraged to do so. Following the TT activity, the players all enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, with a variety of home-made goodies on offer – and most importantly, the opportunity to have a chat! A survey was recently completed and the responses fully demonstrated how much the attendees enjoyed the weekly sessions.

Table Tennis Ulster are very appreciative of the grant from Parkinson’s UK, and are providing them with information/feedback via the survey.

It is the intention of Table Tennis Ulster and its volunteers to make this much-needed activity sustainable. Our feedback has shown the importance of exercise and table tennis for balance, coordination and the social aspect to people with Parkinson’s.

A Facebook page has just been set up for Parkinson’s Lisburn Bat & Chat to promote the opportunity and also as a communication tool.