Wednesday, February 18, 2009

shenzhen Ping Pong: part 2

In my last entry, which was my first on the topic of ping pong (here) - but also happened to be my 100th blog entry - I mentioned that I (unavoidably... but that's another story) spent a month in Shenzhen.

In this second entry on the topic, I'd like to show some pictures of the facility and coaches where I got my training.

The name of the club is 深圳市世纪南华乒乓球俱乐部, which basically translates as Shenzhen Century South China Table Tennis Club. (The club business card uses the word "Epochal" instead of "Century".) Liang Kok Liung (Vincent) introduced me to this place. The club's (Chinese language only) website is


Use the scrollbars to get an idea of the size of the club:

The playing facility is divided into two sides. One side (shown on the left) contains 6 individually barriered courts. The right side contains a group of more closely-spaced tables. There is also a main court with red floor, where the picture above was taken. There is also a separate room with one table. The price per hour varies according to the court type.

Another picture below:

The club is often fully booked on weekends by players from Hong Kong (an hour or so to 90 minutes away). And I'm told, it's also extremely busy in the summer (juniors from Hong Kong on their summer holiday period).


During my stay, I had multiple opportunities to practice with four different professional coaches: all of whom were right-handed, and all of whom were well above my level of play. (The club has different levels of coaches from national team on down and priced accordingly.)

Name: 景文婵
Cost: 60 RMB/hour.

Very quick close-to-the-table shakehands player with smooth rubber both sides. Province team level.
Powerful loop and difficult-to-return serves. Hard to figure out the level of some of the coaches, but I estimate she plays at the 2500-2600 level.
May only speak occasionally during practice, but actually speaks English very well.

(She can also understand and speak Cantonese but I always ended up chatting in English.)
Name: 景文婷
Cost: 60 RMB/hour.

(The sister of the coach shown above.) Also two-winged with smooth rubber but practices at a more relaxed tempo.

Different personality. Offers more verbal feedback. She can speak English but I always ended up talking to her in Cantonese.
Name: 孔祥乾
Cost: 70 RMB/hour.

Penholder with a fearsome reverse side backhand loop. He must have an incredibly strong wrist, great power and can counterloop with it.

I wish I understood more often what he was saying. Unfortunately, he speaks only Mandarin and I don't.
Name: 王小瑜
Cost: 70 RMB/hour.

Hainan island ladies champion. Two-winged close-to-the-table with smooth rubber. Willing to back up some and trade forehand counterloops with me.

I was assigned to her initially. She speaks excellent Cantonese, no English.


I was surprised to find that this ping pong club (乒乓球馆) is marked on Google maps!

It's across the road from 深圳博爱医院 (Shenzhen Humanity Hospital) on Hong Ling Zhong Rd (红岭中路). See below:

I stayed at 寰宇大酒店 (Universal Hotel), website, which is at the bottom of the map.

Strategically located about 10-15 minutes walking distance (or one bus stop) from the ping pong club. It's also convenient for access to some of the major malls (万象城 Mix City and 地王大厦 Diwang) and the burgeoning Shenzhen subway system (stop: 大剧院).

The park on the left side is 荔枝公园 (Lizhi Park). A small but picturesque place in a very busy city, I sometimes went running here.

Picture looking north on 红岭中路. Club is up ahead on the left, hospital on the right:

As you get closer, you can see the white-on-blue advertising for the club:

Street level entrance at the white-on-blue wording:

Entrance on the 3rd floor:

To come...

More blog entries on Shenzhen ping pong to come... I hope to post some videos and talk about techniques I learnt (or re-learnt).

But here is an appetizer, an example of a cultural difference you might not expect:

When you rent a court, you get the choice of hot tea or hot (plain) water with free refills. (Cold drinks can be separately purchased at the front desk.) I always select the hot tea.

Being used to the United States, first day, the hot tea had me scratching my head a bit. But I worked out a system of pouring out 3 cups of tea, staging the refills from the pot to allow them to cool before drinking.


  1. I will be in a business trip to shenzen for 10 days starting 22June09 and I want to train ping pong.
    How can I contact the club or hire the coach or a trainer.

  2. You can email, 景文婵 in the pic above.

    She is a coach and friend of mine. She speaks excellent English and can put you in contact with someone suitable. Hope that helps.

  3. It really helped sandiway Fong
    Thanks alot, I sent her an email and hope she will be able to help.
    Do you think that the above fees are still the same?

  4. I've trained last week end and go back for 12h in 2 days. Very nice place.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Brahms (from HK)

  5. Shenzhen Century South China Table Tennis Club.
    I've trained there last week end for 2 days.
    I go back tomorrow for 12h again. (6h+6h)

    Brahms from HK