Bat & Chat at Castle Mall

We have been hosting weekly 50+ Bat & Chat sessions since April 2018.

Bat & Chat sessions are aimed at those aged 50 and above, and aim to provide the opportunity to socialise with others and help to combat social isolation.

The two hour-long sessions are facilitated by local table tennis enthusiast Doug Randall and initially formed part of a Bat & Chat pilot. Since then, Doug and approximately 15 others attend the sessions each week, which take an informal and relaxed format with free play and a break for a cup of tea and a biscuit! The majority of participants attend every week, with a few new faces dropping in too.

“Everyone enjoys it, and it’s much more fun than other things could be! A few of them had played table tennis before outside of this session, but most of them are brand new to table tennis… when they started they couldn’t get the ball on the table; but now they’re getting it back, they’re getting movement and it helps them. I enjoy the game and I enjoy meeting these people every week.” Doug Randall, Session Activator



The sessions are filled with smiles, laughter and chatting, with participants speaking highly of Bat & Chat within the Ping Pong Parlour;

“Tuesday mornings I play at a senior citizens club and then I come here – it makes my day up! You get the company, try to improve your table tennis and it gives you a reason to come out.” Phil, Participant

“Maureen and I used to play golf, and last year we decided that we’d had enough and wanted to do something else. [These sessions] were in the paper and we thought we’d just come along and try it and we absolutely love it! We just like the people and having a knock about. We’d be heartbroken if it stopped because we really do enjoy coming.”  June, Participant