Thinking outside of the box is a term loosely used sometimes, but Steve Rowe on his mission to increase table tennis participation, certainly knows how to use simple ideas to some effect.

Steve Rowe – by Thorsten Gohl

In 2011 Steve founded the fitness programme called Aerobic Table Tennis, a programme that includes table tennis movement to music.

The success of this programme is clear to see, up to now around the world over sixty thousand children and adults have taken part in the programme. Astounding figures indeed.


Now it is time for something else to help Steve with his endeavour to get more kids playing table tennis.



This new idea came with the help of Hollie, Steve’s granddaughter.

Steve said,

“ I always have table tennis balls hanging around my house. One day Hollie decided to start drawing funny faces and different designs on the balls. I thought to myself how cool would it be to hold a worldwide design a table tennis ball competition for kids around the world “

Butterfly to Sponsor

Steve contacted Butterfly who partner him with Aerobic Table Tennis. The response from Butterfly was that they thought it was a great idea and immediately offered to support the competition.

The outcome is, Butterfly are sponsoring the first ever worldwide “Design A Table Tennis Ball” Competition. Not only did Butterfly agree to sponsor the competition, they also agreed to supply the prizes for the 3 winners from each category.

Under16, Under 11 and Under 7.

Steve commented,

“ The support I get from Butterfly is something out if this world, they support me with everything I do. The prize package they are awarding to the 3 winners is just amazing.

Major support

The support from top European players has been just great, Eliza Samara, Liam Pitchford, Marcos Freitas, Kristian Karlsson and Maxim Shmyrev all sent video messages for the kids, wishing them well in the competition.

Support from ITTF President

Support also has come from none other than the ITTF president Thomas Weikert, who will be the judge that decides the best 3 designs.

How to take part

The way the competition works, kids design the ball, take a photo and then get an adult to share it on Facebook. They can also email it to Steve

The closing date is 30 September 2017. Once we have all the entries the team at Butterfly will choose 10 from each category. These will then be sent for further judging, and Thomas Weikert will decide the winners from each category.

Steps to participate – overview:

  1. Draw your design and take a photo of the ball.
  2. Do a search on Facebook for Aerobic Table Tennis and gibe AEROBIC TABLE TENNIS a like 🙂
  3. Ask an adult to share your photo, along with the age and name of the designer.
  4. Send an email of your design to
  5. On closing date visit to see if you are one og the 3 winners
  6. If you are one of the winners, contact us with all your details.

How can this help to get more kid splaying table tennis ?

Well Steve firmly believes that once the kids have designed the ball, most certainly they will like to try playing with it on a table, therefore we are introducing newcomers to table tennis. Steve commented, “ kids are very creative and I can’t wait to see the designs we receive from all around the world. I have no doubt that the kids will want to try out their designs and so will find a bat and a table and start to play table tennis “

We are hoping that all table tennis associations and federations will support the competition. Inform all your clubs, clubs tell all your kids and kids tell all your schools. Let’s make this a fantastic competition.

We invite clubs from around the world to email Steve and register their club into the competition.  This way a club can work with their kids and enter the designs. Share a photo of the ball design, give the child’s name and age


About The Author


Seb has succeeded in living his passion for table tennis. A long-time player, he connected to professional table tennis as commentator for the ITTF, travelling to top events such as World Championships and reporting live from the action. In 2014, Seb became part of the Butterfly Team, working in international Sales and Marketing at Butterfly Europe in Germany.

Related Posts