Indeed. And that’s why Butterfly is engaged into this ambitious project. In cooperation with the BOUNCE ALZHEIMER’S THERAPY foundation (BAT) a prototype Table Tennis Therapy Table has been developed – and unveiled at the ALZHEIMER’S SHOW in London, last month. What’s behind it? Let’s start from the beginning.
Serious illness for the individual patient – with economic relevance
Alzheimer’s has a huge economic impact on the UK and costs a staggering £26.3 billion, with £4.3 billion of total costs going to drugs and healthcare, and the number of those afflicted with the disease expected to rise to 850,000 by 2015. And one is for sure: the situation is similar in other countries, too.
The only way these costs can be significantly reduced is through improvements in diagnosis as well as useful pre-emptive measures including keeping the brain stimulated through activities such as table tennis.
Who is BAT?
The Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy (BAT) Foundation is a charity aimed at building awareness in the UK of table tennis as a proactive treatment for Alzheimer’s.
The foundation is seeking to expound the benefits of table tennis play in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s by delivering comprehensive table tennis programmes supported by volunteers in care homes across the country.
BAT’s work is supported by Andrew Baggaley, World Champion of Ping Pong 2015 and England’s leading table tennis medal winner at the Commonwealth Games.
Moreover Scottish number 1 Gavin Rumgay. And not to forget the reigning women’s singles national champion, Kelly Sibley as well as English table tennis player and Olympic Team Great Britain representative for London 2012, Darius Knight.
Watch the following video to get an impression how well-accepted the event had been.
Thank you very much from our side to Kelly, Darius, Gavin and the whole staff from BAT for supporting this projet and the event at the ALZHEIMER’S SHOW.
In order to considerably enhance the potential of table tennis as an effective therapy for Alzheimer’s, BAT’s Creative Director, Ian Craigton-Chambers, and Butterfly, world leaders in table tennis technology, have developed a specifically adapted table tennis table to intensify the therapeutic experience during play.
“The table will help counter diminishing visual cognizance,”
“In addition, and in order to create a much more comforting and confidence-building ‘play environment’ for those engaged in the therapy, we are collaborating with American designer, Marco Santini, to factor his innovative Inclusion Plexiglass side panels into the concept. Initial results have shown that this addition gives players a greater sense of security and control, which will subsequently considerably assist their response to the therapy,” he said.
What was the reason to start this project?
A clinical study conducted in Japan in 1997 which demonstrates a correlation between playing table tennis and increased brain function and awareness, and the 2012 Ping Pong film, have prompted BAT to instigate research of their own which sees them working alongside Professor Steve Williams and Dr. Matthew J. Kempton at the Department of Neuroimaging in King’s College London.
“Inspired by a character in the film who, having been diagnosed with dementia, associated her improvement to playing table tennis and by the Japanese clinical study, we wanted to deliver an original piece of research that looks at what’s going on in the brain,”
said Andrew Battley, BAT’s Research and Training Director.
“We believe table tennis play can have a positive and critical impact on slowing down the onset of dementia and now with the support of the team at King’s College London, we want to prove it and then drive the conversation on drug-free therapy as a way of fighting this devastating disease,”