Playing any sport can be beneficial to you, and can not only help you develop certain skills but can also help people with conditions such as Dementia and Parkinsons.

In Scotland, two pilot initiatives were set up for over 50's with Dementia and Parkinsons and they were a raging success in Dundee and Haddington.

Now, TableTennisScotland has been granted £45,000 for a blanket scheme north of the border which aims to get those with Dementia active by playing table tennis regularly in friendly social environments.

The funding by the #Life Changes Trust, an independent charity aiming to provide relief for those with Dementia, and Sportscotland of £35,000 and £10,000 respectively will be rolled out across Scotland and will be "Dementia friendly".

The scheme is called #Community Table Tennis, which gives people in local areas the chance to play sport in their area.

Funding from the two organisations will allow TTS to provide 50 further sites to help spread the word about Table Tennis as a great way to help people get active and play a sport.

Inexpensive to set up

Recent research found that sports such as Table Tennis were effective in increased brain concentration and alertness as well as the social aspects of group interaction.

Table Tennis tables will be inserted into areas such as sheltered housing units, community centres, and even care homes where staff will be trained.

Chief Operating Officer Richard Yule, of TTS, said in a PR Release: "The combination of gentle exercise and plenty of socialising is the perfect mix."

He added: "It is best summed up by a 95-year-old participant in one of our pilot groups saying, I haven't laughed so much in years, it's great fun."

Life Changes Trust director Anna Buchanan said: "Table Tennis is such an accessible sport and relatively inexpensive and can provide a simple and fun way for people affected with Dementia, to engage with and be part of their local communities."

The Life Changes Trust invested £3 million in Dementia Friendly Communities two years ago and has now received a further £2 million on the success of this earlier initiative.

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The LCT was established in 2013 by the Big Lottery Fund and granted £50 million in its aim to provide well being to those suffering dementia and young people with experience of being in care.

Health Benefits

Here are five benefits of playing sports like snooker and table tennis:

1) Improves hand-eye coordination

2) Improves mental acuity

3) Improves social mobility

4) Burns calories

5) Improves brain capacity

For more information on Table Tennis in Scotland, visit tabletennisscotland.co.uk