January 2015 Pink Pong Newsletter Can't see? View online version
Table Tennis Talk


Top Five Events.

  1. October 2014 - #RunTeamFlo Birmingham Half Marathon led by Kelly Sibley (Pink Pong Ambassador) - £23,030.00
  2. January 2014 (Liz May 365 Days Sober) - Dryathlon led by Zoe Cheesman - £1395
  3. April 2014 – Bishop Auckland’s Pink Ponaathon - £1085.00
  4. July 2013 - Pink Pong Golf Day = £1075.50
  5. Helen & Jack Lamberts  Challenge to Get Liz’s Bum Tattooed 2013 - £1000.05


Thank you all so much for your support and if you would like to host an event at your club then please contact Liz May -






Thank you for all your support in 2014 – Liz May

What a fantastic year we have had and it’s thanks to you all that we have done so well.  We kicked off 2014 with Cancer Research’s Dryathlon led by Zoe Cheesman.  Women’s British League as always was very supportive and saw Emma Rose again lead the way.  Gary Wilson took on his first half marathon in Fleet this March and then Cancer Research invited the team to two lab tours.  Ryan Jenkins joined me in Bristol and Helen Lambert at the Plymouth tour.  These tours were vital in understanding why our support and funding is so important to Cancer Research UK – Without the Research there is NO CURE!


Bishop Auckland Table Tennis Club did the only Pink Pongathon raising over £1000, (this is an initiative I would still like to get off the ground annually so if there are any takers, please come forward).   Bishop Auckland were then joined by Aerobic Table Tennis in October to become the best warm up tour event to date.  A team cycled across Devon as part of a challenge called #PinkPongPedal, (we hope a cycle will happen each year too).  We then saw many of our ambassadors on the stage in Glasgow as they embarked on their Commonwealth Games journey – proud!


Thornbury Table Tennis Club hosted a Hardbat competition and donated all proceeds to Pink Pong, in September 2014, we turned 4 and we set up a Sister Fundraising group in Ireland (Pink Pong Ireland), who have started to raise money for The Irish Cancer Society.


  We were saddened by the news that Gareth Miller lost his battle with cancer, he supported Pink Pong by running in the Liverpool Half Marathon and we will continue to raise as much money and awareness of this horrible disease in memory of Gareth and our friends and family who have lost their battle with this atrocious disease.


Corinna Whitaker and Charlotte Carey joined our team of ambassadors and Lesley O’Connell joined our trustee team.  Kelly Sibley led a great team in the Birmingham half marathon raising a staggering £23k as part of #RunTeamFlo (what an adorable young girl she is!) and lastly we headed to Cardiff to #KissAwayCancer.


What we achieve and the support we get for Pink Pong continues to overwhelm us, we all know someone who has or had cancer and together we really can make a difference.  On behalf of the Pink Pong team I would like to say a massive thank you for all of your support and dedication to the cause in 2014, this is just a platform and we need to keep driving forward.  As many people now survive cancer as those that sadly lose their life, however we still have to strive for a cure.


We wish you a happy and healthy new year and hope all table tennis players unite and join us in doing our bit to help Cancer Research UK and The Irish Cancer Society.







It’s “World Cancer Day” on Wednesday 4th February 2015

Imagine if every player in every club across the UK did their bit by donating just £3 throughout this day.  If it’s true that 2.4 million people play table tennis in the UK, just think how much money us table tennis players could raise in just one day by standing up to this disease TOGETHER.


The money raised through JustTextGiving (CRIC90 £3 to 70070) will go directly to a project Cancer Research UK are involved in with the Frances Crick Institute.  “The work here will help understand why disease develops and find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illness such as cancer, heart disease, infections and neurodegerative disease”.  You can find out more by visiting www.crick.ac.uk.  Likewise you can donate via our normal code by texting PONG79 £3 TO 70070, this money will go to Cancer Research UK for many of their ongoing research projects.




Inspirational Corner – By Steve Hastings

I first started playing Table Tennis when I was 12 at Falkland House School after many years of problems at mainstream schools.  My Mum got divorced when I was very young which meant in order for her to work I was often at my Gran’s house.  Over the years I had 2 Mums and had a very close relationship with both of them.


Due to the Autistic Spectrum & ADHD not being discovered when I was young this found me being very misunderstood and ended up attending Falkland House School which was a residential school for boys with behavioural problems.


Whenever I played tournaments at Meadowbank Sports Stadium in Edinburgh I would often pop in to my gran’s, who lived just up the road, and as usual I would get spoilt.  All we done at breaks and evenings was play table tennis, we would play 24 hours if we could. Table Tennis became my life until I suffered a serious knee injury when I was 20.


My Gran spent her married life on a working farm and was a very active person but that was all about to change drastically.  At the age of 70 my Gran suffered a stroke, giving her no power in her left arm and only partial power in her left leg, fortunately this was to lead to the discovery of Bowel Cancer which was treated and removed. This was my first experience of a close member of family having this horrible disease.


Although my Gran won the battle she did not win the war as the cancer came back when she was 80 and was totake her from us. Although I was devastated by our loss I got off lightly as my Mum was there to cushion the blow.


Through the years my Mum always knew there something wasn’t right with me and fought tirelessly to get to the bottom of the problem.  In 2007 and at the age of 34 I was finally diagnosed with ADHD and when I was due to start taking my medication my Mum & Dad decided to take me and my wife away on holiday to help keep me stress free. That was typical of my Mum always looking after everyone else.


In 2011 my Mum started to feel unwell and started to lose weight. She went to the GP and hospital but they could not find anything. She had 3 MRI scans over 6 months but still nothing showed.  A fourth scan in April 2012 was to prove decisive as at her next appointment with the consultant on 16th May 2012 it finally showed she had stage 3/4 stomach cancer.

She was then admitted into hospital that evening for treatment. I got the call from my Dad to come to the hospital and we got told the news she had 12 months to live.  I was completely floored but had to be upbeat as my mum wanted the treatment and to beat this disease just as my Gran had done.  I did not realise it at the time but my mum got me busy sorting out her affairs and that kept me busy and not have me stressing out – she knew me so well.


We started a list of stuff that she wanted to do in the months that she had left and with who she wanted to spend time with.  My Dad has a clear job to do and that was to be with my Mum and look after her. He spoke to his work and took time off while she was ill.  His work was great.  Mum & Dad went a short holiday away in a caravan for a few days but after the third day things got too much for my Dad and they returned home and my Mum was taken into hospital as she was getting worse and the following day was moved to the hospice within the hospital.


It seemed like months ago that she was first diagnosed but we were only in June 2012. They decided she was too weak to start Chemotherapy.  I asked for my Dad to be allowed to stay the night which they allowed and at 7.30am the next morning that call came from my Dad to come up to the hospital.  She passed away at 11.12am on the 22nd June 2012 she was 56 years old.  It is crazy to think it was only 30 days since they said she had 12 months to live that is how cruel this horrible disease is and we all need to work together to stop other families having to go through this horrible ordeal.


It has taken a while but this year things will hopefully be a bit easier now my Dad has moved closer to us.  I hope my Mum & Gran can see me playing the game I love again as everything from now on is a bonus, I am lucky to have met some very inspirational people since I started playing again in 2012 and that is why I have jumped at the chance to support Pink Pong and this amazing cause.



Left to right: Steve Hastings with his Gran & Mum, Steve showing support of Pink Pong and Steve with his Mum and wife Pam.




We are heading to Glasgow where Scotland will ~#GiveCancerThe Boot


Join us on Friday 30th January 2015 for our World Record Warm Up Tour with Aerobic Table Tennis.



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