A Glasgow man is looking to keep kids off the street through his brand-new table tennis club. 

Abdul Khalid, who currently plays in the first division of the senior West of Scotland Table Tennis League, has been a prominent player in the city since around the eighties and nineties.  

Having hopped between Scottish, International and English divisions, the 66-year-old is now looking to pass on his knowledge for the greater good of Glasgow’s youth. 

Glasgow Times:

Speaking on the club, which will be based out of the Pollokshields Community Centre, Abdul said: “With this club, I have the chance to develop the love of table tennis in Pollok and the local area. 

“I want the club to help take kids off the street and give them some sort of physical or mental exercise, which can help them develop as people and achieve something. 

“It is something that can keep local kids busy and gives them opportunities.”

Abdul is hopeful the club will have a positive impact on those who attend, having trained his own three kids - who are now playing at international and national levels. 

Glasgow Times:

He explained: “My daughter (24) is number three in Scotland and is a doctor and my two sons (22 and 21) are in their studies, as well as both playing for Scotland.

“They’re really talented and having developed my own kids, I now want to help develop others.” 

Abdul added that his three kids will also help out in the club, aiding in the support and development of other attendees. 

Glasgow Times:

Young talent aside, Abdul also hopes that the club will help those who have been diagnosed with dementia – as the sport can help bring back memories in some cases, it has been found. 

With the benefits in mind, Abdul has decided to open the club for those ages 10 and up. 

He added: “I find table tennis to be very flexible for all ages. 

“I mean, I’m 66 and I’m still running about and playing the sport, and I really do see that as a result of taking part in table tennis.” 

The club will officially open at the Southside venue on May 2, with classes taking place every Thursday between the hours of 6.30pm and 8.30pm. 

There will be a small charge of £3 per person, which will aid in the cover of renting the venue and the overall development of the club. 

Glasgow Times:

Going forward, Abdul hopes to set up an over-50s club and one-hour classes for those with disabilities. 

Glasgow Life and Table Tennis Scotland (TTS) have both been involved in helping set-up the club. 

Cameron Hussain, TTS Regional Pathways Manager, said he could not be more thrilled to be part of the project. 

Glasgow Times:

He continued: “I couldn't be more thrilled about the prospect of establishing more table tennis clubs in Glasgow. 

“Pollokshields is a truly dynamic and multicultural neighbourhood. It's a place where diversity thrives, and vibrancy abounds. The Pollokshields Community Centre is an excellent location for our new club since it's situated next to a primary school and a health centre, which presents many opportunities to reach out to the local community. 

“Also, Abdul speaks Punjabi, which is a fantastic chance to connect with diverse groups and introduce them to the joys of table tennis.”