May 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) - £23,147.33
  2. March 2015 - Lucy Elliot & Catherine O’Neill Cut their hair for Cancer - £2106.50
  3. January 2015 – Drumchapel TTC & Scotland Aerobic Table Tennis Tour Event led by Corinna Whitaker - £1408.80
  4. January 2015 (Liz May 365 Days Sober) - Dryathlon led by Zoe Cheesman - £1395
  5. April 2014 – Bishop Auckland’s Pink Ponaathon - £1085.00


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 -


#Save20pSaveLives – By Suzanne Smith

1st Honicknowle Rainbows and Brownies raised £115.20 by collecting a tube full of 20p’s, it was a smarties size tube which each girl took home and started to do their bit to help find a cure for this horrible disease.  The girls really enjoyed doing their bit for charity and really enjoyed the table tennis session they received from Liz May as a thank you.  Myself and my mum run three different guiding groups, two rainbow groups and one brownie group, 3rd Compton Rainbows are the other group my mum runs and they have also put their hands in their pockets and collected 20p’s we are unsure of an exact amount at the moment as they are still coming in.


Myself and my family have been affected by cancer, it has taken loved ones away from us and by collecting 20p’s we felt like it was our way of supporting Pink Pong.  Pink Pong as become a very important charity within our family, by supporting CRUK’s Frances Crick project this year, it has meant that Pink Pong has indirectly supported the future research into Alzheimer’s which is very close to my heart, My Granddad passed away in May 2009 after his long fight with Alzheimer’s.


 “Liz started her running for several different charities, however although all are worthy focus has to be on one, she believes if she looks after her corner, she has done her bit”.  Running London meant she and my brother Jon were supporting a cause that could help people suffering from a disease that took our Granddad from us, as well as continuing to showcase Liz’s passion……Pink Pong.  Going up to support Liz and Jon whilst they ran the London Marathon was a not a question it was something that I had to do.  Both of them have put so much time and effort in to the training and fundraising for this event.  Not only this but my son Joshua is their biggest fan and I think I may have been in huge trouble if we didn’t.  They both worked incredibly hard and I couldn’t be prouder and I know both of our granddads ( Lesley Smith and Eric Page) will be looking down on them incredibly proud of their achievements.



Joshua Smith, Liz and Jon’s biggest fan and The 1st Honicknowle Rainbows and Brownies.



Lloyds Support Pink Pong’s Crick Project – By Liz May

In the build up to the London Marathon I have been involved in mini projects to try and reach a target of £5000 for the Frances Crick Institute.  This is a Project Cancer Research UK are heavily involved in ---->


I was joined by Linda Smith and Amanda Anderton at the Lloyds Bank in the Ridgeway Plympton on Saturday 11th April 2015 to try and boost Pink Pong’s fund raising efforts and to introduce people to our sport.


Thank you to the Manager at the Plympton branch, Mr Patrick Darch for allowing us to take over an area at the bank for three hours on a Saturday morning.  Pat, is a table tennis player himself, playing in the Torquay league he said “As a friend and table tennis colleague of Liz I was delighted to support her in raising money for Cancer Research UK through her fundraising group Pink Pong.  As an employee of Lloyds Bank we are encouraged to support as many charity events as possible.  The bank offers a ‘matched funding scheme’ for staff, where the bank matches funds raised up to £500 per annum, per colleague, so I am so delighted we will be able to match the £80 raised in Lloyds Bank Plympton recently to go towards a very worthy cause.”


We raised £74.17 during the morning, which was topped up by my Grand National Win (few pennies) to £80.  Lloyds have also promised to add to our Crick JustGiving page which is sure to make a difference and we hope to be in Lloyds Ivybridge in the not so distant future.  A massive thank you to all those involved.



Left to Right: Pat Darch Lloyds Bank Manager with Liz May. Amanda Anderton & Linda Smith



Twenty Six Point Two A”MAY”zing Miles – By Liz May

When I crossed the finish line in the Paris Marathon with five of my family members in 2012 (April 2012 Newsletter) my Dad looked at me sobbing and said “well at least that’s done hey”, through the tears  I answered, “unfortunately not Papa, I haven’t done it to my best, I need to run without injury”.  It must be difficult for a parent to watch their child suffer, but my pain was just temporary and if ‘I quit, well that would last forever’.


So many people every day have to suffer the horrible affects of cancer and it will be Pink Pong’s mission, whilst I’m at the helm to try and do as much as possible to raise money and awareness of this disease by working closely with Cancer Research in the UK and the Irish Cancer Society in Ireland.  There will be a better tomorrow!


Back to the miles, my family (Jon & Rachel May, Colin, Toni & Sean Page, James Cairns and Barbara Jensen) headed back out to Paris at the start of April, this time splitting into mini groups to account for time and yes some more injuries, it’s a family trait to be stubborn and I’m proud to say that all those that started finished and did an amazing thing for our cause – The Frances Crick Project.


I didn’t want to return to Paris, although I have fond memories with my family, the pain I endured before I didn’t want to be reminded of, so when Cancer Research offered me two places in the 2015 London Marathon, I jumped at the chance and invited my brother Jon to join me, two weeks after he was to run Paris.   Jon’s aim was to run Paris with his wife Rachel, to help her around the prestigious course and then run London for a personal best, I’m pleased to say he did just that and I am proud of him for achieving his goals and for always showing great support.  We had fun at the start of the London Marathon in Greenwich and those memories will be everlasting,


London for me should have been the most enjoyable experience of my sporting life; however it was just a rollercoaster of mental strength or lack of it for 04:51:44.  I kept trying to tell myself that I was running in the best marathon in the world, but the reality is, it just hurts.  The buzz in Greenwich at the mass start was electric, running around the Cutty Sark was fun, then the mind games, ‘you’re on London Bridge, look up and take it in’, followed by ‘I want to walk, you’re not walking, I want to walk, you’re not walking’, my family lifted me in the crowds at 7, 13, 22 and 23 miles and then as I was running down the embankment with Big Ben in front and the London Eye coming up on the left, my heart sank as the 5 hour pacer was on my shoulder, too disillusioned to realise it was the blue starts pacer and not the red (my field), I gritted my teeth and was determined not to be passed by him and ran home past Buckingham Palace for my personal best and second Marathon medal. 


When I crossed the line, I was so relieved that it was over and when asked over the week that followed if I would do it again my immediate response is/was NO.  As I write this though I again resort back to my initial statement, my pain is temporary and therefore, if I know I was going to “make a difference” I can never say never!


I want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to my family and friends who are always a great support to me and now all drive the Pink Pong message forward.  Thank you to everyone who has donated to the cause --à  We will be keeping this page open until we reach our target as we feel this project is important in “creating a change”.



Left to Right: Liz May, Joshua Smith (nephew and biggest fan) & Jon May.



How much for a haircut? – By Catherine O’Neill

On Thursday 12th March 2014, Lucy Elliott and I took part in a charity haircut to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  We both have close ones who are either fighting this horrible disease or have fought through and have the all clear.  Lucy’s Granddad sadly passed away in August 2014 from Cancer. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had suffered from this since the day he was diagnosed. A few years later, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. “It was heart breaking to see someone in so much pain and for them not to have anything to stop it.  Since I became aware of Pink Pong and knew what a horrible time my granddad was going through, although really nervous I really wanted to do my part to help people who are going through the same thing.  I would love to continue to raise money for this amazing charity and show my support”.


I  too have lost family and friends due to this horrific disease, and I have also wanted to do my bit to raise awareness for this great charity.  Thanks to all the research being done, many more people who are living with cancer are still with us today which is amazing.   When Lucy asked me to join her in shaving our heads I didn't hesitate, whatsoever.   I was too nervous but also excited to be shaving my head.  We would both would like to thank everyone for their donations and the tremendous support we received and a huge thanks to everyone's generosity we raised over £2000.

It has been a truly humbling experience listening to people's stories on how this horrific disease has affected them.  Here are some before and after photographs and I am please to say our hair is growing back nicely.


What truly amazing ladies: Lucy Elliott & Catherine O’Neill


Inspirational Corner – By Sarah Salisbury

Gosh, you know it's going to be emotional and where to start when writing an inspirational piece!   Aunt Vowel aka Val was always my caped crusader!  Often when I was in scrapes when little it was Aunt Val to the rescue.  Val was a woman of firsts, the first woman to be a member of Plymouth Judo Club, the first to introduce me to sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a whole world of what was then exotic foods!   Val also ran in the first ever Plymouth Race for Life- in a very respectable 32 minutes.  To me she was fierce, independent, loyal, proud and usually plotting an adventure.  We had such random fun times.  

On the birth of my son, she constantly spoke about how amazing and gifted he was going to be, that he would have amazing adventures, swim oceans, climb mountains.   At the time it seemed she was being indulgent and romantic, as every great- aunt has the privilege to be. On the event of her death the meaning of these words changed.  

In memory of Aunt Vowel and to fulfil one of her prophecies, we decided to take on an adventure!!!  A mountain, Snowdon was the obvious choice, and a whole world of fundraising began; pretzel dipping, cake baking.

Edward often asks after his great aunt Vowel (it’s become our family pet name, as he struggled to pronounce Val) , the stories of mine and my aunts adventures have been shared, with tears of joy and sadness.  Edward and I are now off adventuring ourselves and Vowels words will ring true for our lifetime.  



We have had several people ask if they could set up a direct debit direct to Pink Pong - CRUK monthly and of course the answer is yes.  This can be set up via or you can donate as much and as often as you like via our PayPal donation button at the bottom of our shop -


Also, you could join our team by taking on your own challenge for us or just support a challenge already happening -




If you would like to share your story then please contact Zoe Cheesman -


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  Pink Pong
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