High schoolers start local branch of pingpong group created for those with Parkinson’s

The Atlanta branch was created by high schoolers who wanted a way to give back.
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There is a rhythm to things at PingPong Parkinson Atlanta. The pop of a pingpong ball against a paddle becomes a tool for a person with Parkinson’s to slow their symptoms. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that affects movement, and often brings tremors.

“It has been really rewarding to see everyone progress and join the community,” said 16-year-old Gabe Elkinson.

The Atlanta branch was created by high schoolers who wanted a way to give back.

In the group, there are different generations and different abilities, playing pingpong together.

“It is a great way to put community together with an interest that I have,” said 17-year-old Ryan Dong.

Elkinson has family members in the group in New York and wanted to create an Atlanta branch. He started working with Dong, getting the wheels turning on the plan last year. The crew meets on Sundays at 2 p.m. at Atlanta Georgia Table Tennis Association in Norcross.

“It is a great space for people with Parkinson’s no matter how they feel, to meet other people with Parkinson’s and get a safe space to exercise and have fun every week,” said Elkinson.

“As high school students, we don’t really get the opportunity to make something that could be life-changing for other people, something so small as pingpong. It has been really impactful,” said Dong.

If you are interested, you can follow PingPongParkinson Atlanta on Instagram and Facebook. You can also email the group for more information.