Tennis table suitable for all ages

2017-11-21 06:00
From left are: Sune Stassen, Sharon Cottle and James Fernie playing on the pingout cement table they donated at Hampstead Park.

From left are: Sune Stassen, Sharon Cottle and James Fernie playing on the pingout cement table they donated at Hampstead Park.

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A Harfield Village-based organisation has installed a cement tennis table, called a PingOut table, at Hampstead Park.

It is the first table of its kind to be installed in a public park in the province, adding to three that have been installed at Welcome Primary School in Heideveld, Isikoheklo Primary School in Khayelitsha and Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu.

It was put together in a partnership between the Uthando South Africa organisation and the Open Design Festival’s Sune Stassen.

Uthando director James Fernie says the idea was born in 2007 but only came to fruition recently when all the arrangements and funding were fully done.

“I first played on a public table in Zurich, Switzerland in 2007 and had the idea for many years to have public tables in South Africa. Together with a wonderful team of people the table was designed, engineered and constructed.”

He says the table is suitable for people of all ages.

“We have had grannies playing with their grandchildren, friends and neighbours playing against each other. It is based on the idea of bringing social togetherness, physical activity, design and art into public spaces for all to enjoy. Even if you have never played before, PingOut is not only an exciting spectator sport but also a fun and easy game to participate in,” says Fernie.

“It would be fantastic to see tables being installed in schools, parks and public places across the city and country. The table is a solid cement structure and will last for many years. It is specially designed and engineered to South African conditions with a solid base to prevent the table from being used as a home.”

Michelle Bagley of the Amy Foundation says they share a table with Siyazingisa Primary. She says the table is very safe. Members of her foundation use the table after school hours.

“The children thoroughly enjoy the new equipment and introduction to this new, exciting, fast-paced sport.”

She says the table is vital for youth development and sports programmes and promotes sustainable social development.

Christopher Jacob, principal of Welcome Primary, says: “It is so beautiful to see the learners milling around whilst others are playing. The children have formed their own pairs and fall in when the other is out. The sport coaches are monitoring the whole process and everyone is having so much fun.”

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