The story of BAT

Going back to the beginning

To see the full journey of BAT's study we need to travel back to 2012 and a feature length documentary called Ping Pong that, having been a smash hit at the Sheffield Doc and Canadian Hot Docs film festivals, was now setting screens alight in cinemas all across the UK.

Ping Pong follows 8 octogenarians from across the globe as they play in the Over 80's World Table Tennis Championships. With characters like Les D'Arcy; who at 90 still lifts weights to prepare, Terry Donlan; who has overcome multiple cancers to keep on competing, and Dorothy DeLow; who at 100 is still going strong at international events... it's a film about the tenacity of the human spirit, that age is just a number, and you're never too old for gold.

A film as a catalyst for change

On the back of the film, the national health and well-being campaign the Ping Pong Care Campaign was born. Funded by the BIG Lottery and run by the film's makers BRITDOC, the campaign was aimed at encouraging and promoting active ageing using the film as an inspiration and starter.

The campaign ran until mid 2014, during which time it inspired over 60,000 older people to be active, provided resources to more than 2,500 care settings across the country, and provided specialised training to some 350 Activity Coordinators and Care Setting Managers.

One of the film's characters, Inge, attributes her improved health to table tennis, having been diagnosed with Dementia and moved into a nursing home, where she discovered a table in the basement and began playing. This is where BAT comes in and picks up the mantle...