Slapping a ball against a wall has been a game which has been played in playgrounds for generations and now the UK’s first official ‘wall ball’ court has opened.
Based in Southwark, the launch of the court is a passion project of NHS doctor Daniel Grant who is running UK Wall Ball and wants to help people “get active”.
The game has existed under various names such as ‘pat ball’ and slap ball’ but the rules on the new London court are the same: slap the ball so it hits the wall and lands in the court, then rally until someone loses the point.
Balls will be available to players for £1 from a vending machine beside each machine.
“We need to encourage the demographic that is not good at getting active to get active,” said Grant.
NHS England says regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35%, type 2 diabetes by 50% and breast cancer by 20% and Grant hopes by getting more people hitting balls on walls for free in towns and cities, he’ll attract a demographic that “won’t get on the bus to the leisure centre”.
Grant wants schools to find space for walls and courts in their playgrounds and is also approaching councils to ask them to find space for the game in games areas.
Wall ball is already big in countries such as Spain and France and perhaps this new court is the first step in making it big here in the UK.