Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Cisco, Facebook… Kingsford.
These big names pioneered table tennis in the office but The Kingsford Group is getting in on the act. Why? Well, quite simply, it makes perfect business sense.
Amit Kleinberger, CEO of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, an international chain with 475 locations, said in a Business Insider interview, “You have to know where your own weaknesses lie and cover those bases. On the flip side, you have to evaluate where your opponents’ weaknesses are and target them. For example, if your opponent tends to be slower at reacting on their left side, that’s where you want to aim. Employing this same strategy in business can be extremely helpful.”
Some advocates argue it is one of the best ways to test your team. At tech start-up, “Technology Advice” each new member of staff is tested with several 11-point rounds of table tennis. CEO Rob Bellenfant says: “the focus is not gauging table tennis prowess but rather how employees approach and respond to elements in the game. For example, are they aggressive, defensive, do they seek to intimidate their opponent or take risks with spin shots? Are they employees that are able to pick up and adapt or not”?
“In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions”
Dr Wendy Suzuki
It has other benefits too. Table Tennis comes out on top as one of the only low injury risk sports to be able to increase fitness levels and hand-eye coordination within the confines of the office. Dr Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University says: “In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions,”
When table tennis originated towards the end of the 19th century in Britain, Victorians would line books along their dining tables as a net, use empty cigar boxes as rackets and make a ball from string or a Champagne cork. You’ll find our offering is a little more refined (minus the Champagne). Check out the customer made table downstairs at 26 Dublin Street.