Above image and header image: artist’s drawings of the proposed table tennis court at Windermere Community Fitness Park.
Vancouver's gets first dedicated outdoor table tennis court
Windermere Table Tennis Court Receives $44,000 in Funding
The BCTTA is delighted to learn Vancouver’s first dedicated outdoor table tennis court will be coming this summer to the school grounds at Windermere Secondary School. BC’s Minister of Health Adrian Dix approved a funding request from project manager and Windermere PE department head Brad White, to get the ball rolling.
Introduction to the project
During the CV-19 pandemic, Windermere Secondary School in east Vancouver quietly became the home to Vancouver’s first comprehensive dedicated community fitness park. Open for nearly one year now, the Windermere Community Fitness Park (WCFP), designed by Windermere PE department head Brad White as an outdoor PE facility, consists of 16 stations that can accommodate two persons per station. Outside of school hours, the fitness park has become a big hit with the Renfrew Heights community, and when we checked out the WCFP on a recent afternoon during spring break, there were at least a half dozen people exercising despite the cool weather.
Brad White reached out to the BCTTA not to showcase the fitness park, but to invite the table tennis community to get involved in fund raising for phase two of the Windermere Community Fitness Park, Vancouver’s first dedicated outdoor table tennis court. A long-time racquet sports enthusiast and pretty good table tennis player, Brad had been pondering what to do with a 20 by 80 foot rectangle of unused land bordering the south edge of the fitness park. Upon hearing in late December about the passing of Chandra Madhosingh, a fellow tennis club member who also loved table tennis, Brad had the idea for an outdoor table tennis court.
The BCTTA gives our full support
As the BCTTA representative, I met with Brad on the site of the proposed table tennis court the last day of school before the break. Brad wanted to know if the site would work from the point of view of actual table tennis players. I think we were both aware of what passes as outdoor table tennis courts in Vancouver. During the lockdown, for instance, desperate for a game, I played at all of the nearly one dozen tables that dot the city. Sadly, the existing outdoor table tennis table installations around Vancouver are ill conceived and haphazardly placed in all the wrong places: next to roads, adjacent to bike paths, within skateboard parks, set on large windy pedestrian plazas, or in front of busy entrances to large grocery stores. Clearly, no one with any knowledge of table tennis whatsoever was involved or consulted before these table tennis tables were installed. You can read evaluations on each these outdoor many installations here at Ping Pong In Vancouver, a website advocating for safe table tennis installations in Vancouver parks.
As I stood on the 20 by 80 foot strip with Brad, it was clear from my experience as an outdoor table tennis player, that this proposed site is as good as it gets. Once completed, there will be plenty of space around each table for players of every level to play without worrying about a collision with a person, bike, baby carriage or car. With buildings to the south and east, and trees to the west, the sheltered site will be relatively free from winds, one of the irritating factors at play in outdoor table tennis, and reason why outdoor table tennis balls weight 40% more than their indoor counterparts.
The cost of the table tennis court
The cost of Vancouver’s first permanent dedicated outdoor table tennis court will be around $44,000. This breaks down to approximately $22,000 for the concrete slab with drainage, around $7,500 for each of the two concrete tables, and another $5,000 or so for benches, signage and modest landscaping improvements. Brad White, no stranger to fund raising after years of securing funding for the WCFP, had been busy making calls, filling out forms, and hoped to engage both the federal and provincial governments in asking for support. “The call from health minister Adrian Dix was a bit of a surprise. We hoped for some support but to receive the full amount for the project was way beyond our expectations. To say we are grateful is an understatement.”