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Swing Ping Pong ‒ An innovative and norm critical physical activity tool forhealth for everyone

Lars Kristén, Center of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI),
Halmstad University, Sweden.

Scientist Mikael Ring

Mikael Ring, Associate professor. Unit for Human Geography, Department of Economy and Society, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.



Many children with a disability also face the risk of illness as well as exclusion. Exclusion from Physical Education in school is often related to the fact that there is a lack of inclusive sports equipment. Swing Ping Pong (SwingPingis) consists of a ping pong ball attached to a string that is mounted on a door frame or any other extension of the room. The ball is hit by an ordinary ping pong racket. The tool is constructed for children with a disability, since the string makes the ball return on every hit.


Aim and theoretical framework


The aim of this article is to investigate an open collaborative innovation with lower level of activity goal that can contribute to a better quality of life for people with a disability. The question asked here is whether performative, independent bodily, norm critical, and existential aspects involved in the use of an innovative aid called SwingPingis (Swing Ping Pong), has any impact on health and wellbeing for the children using the innovation?




This study combines two types of method: phenomenography and ethnomethodology. The methods used in this study are interviews and observations of children with disabilities (pre-and post-measurement) and interviews with their Physical Education teachers. Observations were
also carried out during classes using the tool.



The results suggest that children and teachers perceive the tool as a means to an embodied and creative part of collaboration during the lesson, and in the teaching of the subject Physical Education. Children perceive Swing Table Tennis as an opportunity to get motor training and build bodily capacities to perform, which in turn were reported as a feeling of the joy in movement. The open character of SwingPingis (Swing Ping Pong) as a health technology is seen here as creating a health benefit, an aid to help in the desire to master independency and aspects of collaboration, and thus also a potential stimulation of health.


Discussion and conclusions/expected outcome


The study shows the importance of adult overview, but also as challenging norms, demanding learning and creativity, and for creating inclusion. The results suggest that children and teachers perceive SwingPingis (Swing Ping Pong) as a creative part in the lesson and the teaching of Physical Education. Children perceive Swing Table Tennis as an opportunity to get motor training and feel the joy of movement. The children also reason about various health benefits. Teachers emphasize its usefulness and accessibility.


Key words


Children, disability, embodied physical education, norm critical innovation, health technology.