By Dean Johnson, USATT correspondent, November 5, 2014
VIRGINIA BEACH, USA
Kellam High School will be introducing the Table Tennis Sports and Education Program as a part of the schools 2014/2015 plans to expand activity offerings and share brain fitness, thanks in part to the collaboration between Monarch Bank, KETTLER USA and the Table Tennis Charity Foundation, a local non-profit 501(C)3 organization based in Virginia Beach.
The program is part of a larger plan to implement table tennis to both public and private schools as an extension to the mainstream sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. Studies show that daily aerobic exercise significantly benefits memory, brain health and physical fitness.
“We’re excited to kick this off”, shares John Yager, Kellam sponsor. “On Monday, November 10th, from 2pm to 3pm, the Foundation’s chairman, neuropsychologist Dr. Scott Sautter, will discuss the science behind the benefits of table tennis, followed by demonstrations from local table tennis professionals, and finally the foundation will introduce the adaptive program to the school, including the donation of table tennis tables by Monarch Bank and KETTLER USA.
It is the mission of the TTCF to provide qualified schools with the Table Tennis Sports and Education Program-at NO cost. The goal is to “Cross-Train Your Brain”, both educationally and physically. The program provided to participating schools on behalf of the TTCF benefits all ages and skill levels and will engage students, parents, faculty and staff who are committed to a successful integration and implementation. As Ken Lees, founder and president of the Table Tennis Charity Foundation explains, “Kellam, like Ocean Lakes and Lynnhaven Middle (and soon Cox), will provide its students with proper equipment to facilitate an active Ping Pong Club, two scholarship opportunities, casual and competitive play, and the launch of the First Annual Battle of the Paddles to debut in the Spring of 2015 providing competitive participation between school
As described by Neuropsychologist Scott Sautter, Ph.D., ABN, “The neuroscience of playing Ping Pong has been described as a game of aerobic chess. It’s great for eye-hand coordination, reflexes, balance, planning, strategy and a stress reliever exercising the mind and body in a safe activity for everyone. The cool factor is that research has demonstrated the positive benefits to brain fitness, such as the report of a Japanese study that found just ten minutes of playing Ping Pong increased neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.” TTCF is eager to raise awareness of the mental health and therapeutic benefits of playing Ping Pong.
Recently, USA Table Tennis, the official professional and Olympic organization, endorsed TTCF as a means to bring awareness of the benefits of playing table tennis to recreational players of any age and ability. Ken Lees adds, “we are proud of the direction that TTCF is heading, and hope to work towards increasing table tennis participation, including recognizing the physical and mental benefits playing the sport. We are eager to start our program with Kellam, and look forward to bringing table tennis to all qualifying schools.”
Anyone interested in attending Kellam's Kick Off, or would like to find out additional information should contact the Table Tennis Charity Foundation by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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