By Joe McFarlane
A unique game combines table tennis and the art of keepie uppies to create an athletic experience like no other.
Invented in Kaiserslautern, Germany, because the football pitch was occupied at a local sports centre, René Wegner, 37, gave birth to the simple but competitive game of Headis, and now 13 years later, the game is bigger than ever.
The fun sport of Headis requires two players, a table tennis table and a rubber ball, and by only using your head, competitors must try and score points past one another.
With over 100,000 active players worldwide and tournaments taking place all over the world, René has a lot more on his mind that just a rubber ball, because as managing director, it is René’s responsibility to organise tournaments and to deal with partners and sponsors of the sport.
Though a simple and straight forward game in nature, the international Headis tournaments require a great level of experience and spectacular displays of athleticism.
René said: “For beginners it’s pretty easy to learn Headis. It takes about five minutes and you can start playing with your friends and you’re having fun.
“If you want to become one of the very best players it takes way more time. They know all the techniques and switch their tactics several times per game. You have to be quite athletic to be one of the top players.
“Headis is freedom, every player can choose their own way to play and how serious they are about it. Lots of players know that they have no chance to win the tournament but they are competing for the fun and the atmosphere at the tournaments.
“You can just do your thing with Headis.”