More girls are getting into ping pong, an academy school has found, due to the nature of it being less competitive than other sports.

Harris Academy Morden, in Lilleshall Road, was given four new table tennis tables by the philanthropic Jack Petchey Foundation and the England Table Tennis Association, one of 54 schools in London to receive the sports equipment.

Becky Forshaw, the school’s sport coordinator, said: “Our students love playing table tennis, the new tables enable more pupils to take part and as a result more pupils are the school has seen an increase in the amount of pupils playing table tennis during lunchtimes and after school clubs.”

“The girls find it more recreational as table tennis can be social rather than a competitive sport where by they can take part at lunchtime in their school uniform.”

“Plus we are entering more competitions so watch this space.”

Jack Petchey, the 87-year-old businessman who founded the charitable enterprise, said: “I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my own youth.

“It’s a fantastic sport for young people to play and this partnership is popular and growing."