Harfield gets cement ping-pong table

Trying out the new table is Sune Stassen, founding director of Rock City Foundation; James Fernie, HVA chairperson and founding director of Uthando (Love) South Africa; and ward councillor Sharon Cottle.

Hampstead Park in Harfield Village was brimming with excitement when PingOut SA launched their new cement PingOut tables.

The PingOut project has its origin in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is based on the idea of bringing social togetherness, physical activity, design and art into public spaces for all to enjoy.

To date, four tables have already been installed with a further two that are in the pipeline. The first table was sponsored for Welcome Primary School in Heideveld, followed by Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu and Isikoheklo Primary School in Khayelitsha.

The Harfield Village Association (HVA) quickly jumped on board to sponsor the fourth PingOut for Hampstead Park in Harfield Village.

James Fernie, founding director of Uthando (Love) South Africa and HVA chairperson, said: “As Uthando South Africa is focused on community development in under-privileged communities, our vision of installing PingOut tables in these areas is primarily aimed at encouraging upliftment and transformation.

“In general there is such a dire need for more opportunities and greater infrastructure, particularly for children who are living in impoverished sprawling urban areas around Cape Town.”

He said Uthando was proud to have been part of the team that pioneered the PingOut project in South Africa.

“It is already such a joy to witness how people have embraced this new project with such exuberance and enthusiasm as an integrated part of their community,” Mr Fernie said.

The conceptualisation, design, engineering and construction of the cement PingOut table in South Africa was a team effort between Mr Fernie, PingOut SA, the Rock City Foundation, Open Design Festival, JVE Consulting Engineers Inc and Crown Trading.

The Cape Town PingOut pilot was first introduced by Rock City Foundation as part of the Open Design Cape Town Festival in 2015.

First stationed on the rooftop of the Cape Town station and later at the Watershed V&A Waterfront, PingOut provided many hours of fun and bystanders witnessed how many commuters, students, pupils, traders, tourists and people from all walks of life that have never met before, connected over a game of ping-pong.

Later in 2015, PingOut also brought a lot of excitement to the streets of Langa and provided many hours of entertainment and fun during the ever-popular Open Streets day.

PingOut also made an appearance at Africa Burn and in Gugulethu as part of the Cape Town International Dance Festival.

Sune Stassen, founding director of Rock City Foundation, which is also the official South African partner of PingOut in Denmark, said: “The vision of PingOut SA is to have a positive social impact in South African communities, increase the potential of greater social cohesion and to bring life and upliftment to many unused and unsafe public spaces.

“In my experience, having a game of PingOut puts an immediate smile on your face and takes the stress of the day or month away in an instant. It’s also pretty amazing to witness the power of PingOut and how easy it is for complete strangers to connect and have fun with the greatest ease.”

The goal is to install PingOut tables at as many schools and communities as possible, not just in Cape Town but also throughout the rest of South Africa and Africa.

Contact Uthando at jamesfernie@uthandosa.org or Rock City Foundation at sunerockcity@gmail.com for more information on how to donate a table.