Bounce & Butterfly Launch New Table as Therapeutic Aid for Alzheimer’s Disease
Courtesy of ITTF
Supported by Scotland’s leading player Gavin Rumgay, alongside England internationals Kelly Sibley, Andrew Baggaley and Darius Knight; Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy (BAT) Foundation was recently established.
It is a charitable organization aimed at increasing awareness and treatment of Alzheimer’s by organizing table tennis events throughout the United Kingdom to delay the onset of the disease.
Bounce is Europe’s largest purpose built “Social Ping Pong Club”; the premises are situated in London very close to such buildings as the St Brides Club and the George Hotel which were focal points of meetings that eventually witnessed the formation of the International Table Tennis Federation.
The club is now regarded as a one of the most vibrant social centers in England’s capital city.
In order to promote the program, Ian Craigton-Chambers, the Creative Director of BAT Foundation working alongside Butterfly has developed a table tennis table as a therapeutic aid.
“In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, those with the condition start to progressively lose their visual perceptions of perspective, contrast and color”, said Ian Craigton-Chambers. “In order to proactively compensate for these deprivations, we are, in conjunction with Butterfly, developing a specially designed table tennis table that will help counter diminishing visual cognizance in those three areas.”
Certainly a most eye-pleasing and innovative design has been created.
“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”, added Ian Craigton-Chambers. “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.”
Source of Motivation
A clinical study conducted in Japan in 1997 demonstrated a correlation between playing table tennis and increased brain function and awareness; also the 2012 film which featured the likes of Terry Donlon at the 2010 World Veteran Championships in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, prompted the BAT Foundation to instigate research of their own.
They worked 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 Foundation 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.”
It is estimated that Alzheimer’s cost the United Kingdom economy £26.3 billion, with £4.3 billion of total costs for drugs and healthcare; the number of those afflicted with the disease is expected to rise to 850,000 by 2015.
The innovative table designed to help as a therapeutic aid
Photo by Emma Brown Photography