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Boris Johnson plays table tennis in Bermondsey Square

Boris Johnson joined traders and shoppers at Bermondsey Antiques Market on Friday morning when he challenged pupils from St James's Primary School and the Greenhouse Charity to a game of table tennis.

Boris Johnson plays table tennis in Bermondsey Square
Boris Johnson plays table tennis in Bermondsey Square

The Mayor of London's appearance in Bermondsey Square was intended to highlight the opportunities available for Londoners to take part in sporting activities this summer, including tennis, football, cricket and rugby.

Temporary open-air swimming pools like the one which appeared on the South Bank last summer will also be installed in several boroughs – though the Mayor's description of the pools as "huge sheep dips" may not encourage participation in the way City Hall officials hoped.

The Mayor has been known as an enthusiastic advocate for table tennis since his infamous Beijing speech in 2008 when he declared to a bemused audience of Chinese officials that "ping pong is coming home".

The table tennis table was provided by Ping London which this summer will install 100 tables across the city for all to enjoy.

Ping London runs from 24 July to 22 August and tables in SE1 will be appearing in Bermondsey Square and outside Tate Modern on Bankside.

"Ping! is for everyone – those who love table tennis and those who didn't know they did," says Colette Hiller from Sing London.

"A quick game of ping-pong en-route to work or over a lunchtime sandwich? What better way to put a smile on the face of Londoners!"

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