Never too old for gold…

It’s true, you’re never too old for gold. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to not only witness the unforgettable spirit of a group of Octogenarians (aged 80+ young) at a screening of Ping Pong – an inspirational (yes, inspirational) film about veteran table tennis players, but I was also lucky to meet Darius Knight, Olympic Team GB table tennis player. As you can read in our Talking Heads section (click here), Darius too was inspired by the energy of the 80 years young ping pong players.

People from in and around Leeds gathered at Armley Leisure Centre to join in the Ping Pong Care Campaign 2013. This campaign aims to share the huge physical, social and emotional benefits of this low impact sport, coupled with sharing the film to galvanise the ‘can do’ attitude for anyone interested in taking up this sport.

This ‘can do’ attitude was clearly evident when we watched the film which followed eight people from across the globe as they competed in the over 80s category of the World Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia. If you can see one film this year, make it this one! (details below of how) I’m not sure what the audience expected, but I suspect it wasn’t to be moved to tears one moment, giggling the next and then motivated to pick up a bat and have a go!

The power of this film as a catalyst for change was both humbling and motivating, with the oldest player being 100 years old! The film was dedicated to the memory of Yorkshire’s own Les D’Arcy; a world champion table tennis player who, aged 90, competed in an international tournament last year and won gold in the doubles at the world championships. Sadly, Les passed away earlier this year but his indelible spirit for life lives on – ‘don’t think you can’t, because you can’ he told our Adult Social Care team last Christmas. We hope that through campaigns such as the table tennis one, his legacy will stay with the older generation (and us relative youngsters) for many years to come.

If you’re a member of a group or organisation and would like to hear more about the campaign, get involved in a film screening or ever deliver an Awareness Event (they’re great fun!), please get in touch at

Don’t forget – Darius’ (Team GB) interview…. click here to view.

About betterlivesleeds

Health, social and age-related care services working together to make Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing
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