A TABLE tennis club that has introduced more than 400 children to the sport has encouraged more people to take up a paddle .

Since it was founded in May last year the Darlington Table Tennis Academy (DTTA) has worked with schools across the Darlington area and organised taster sessions for hundreds of children The DTTA has committed to working to involve more people in active sports after the London Olympics and to fight the rise in obesity.

The club also offers qualifications in coaching and training sessions for adults.

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In the ten months the DTTA has been running it has been registered as a Premier Club with The English Table Tennis Association and has teams entered in both the Darlington and the Teesside Cadet Tennis Table leagues.

The club’s successes lead to invitations to both the BBCs North East Sports Awards and the Best of Darlington Awards 2014.

The club is supported by the Darlington Sports Development Team, Durham County Community Foundation and the Cooperative Society, which helped with funding, coaching courses and promotions to get DTTA established.

Chairman Brian Day said: “I have been delighted to have witnessed the dedication and commitment of committee members, coaches, volunteers and players who have made it possible for the Academy to have been such a success in such a short time.

"Table tennis is a very worthwhile sport to participate in not only for fitness reasons but for its socialising benefits too.”

The club welcomes all ages and abilities to its weekly sessions at Longfield Academy of Sport on Wednesdays between 7pm and 9pm and Thursdays between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.