One man’s 24-hour pingpongathon raises more than £2,000 for cancer charity

Rob Goodson, 3rd left, with his family and friends, during his pingpongathon, 24 hour table tennis marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Poringland. From left, James Goodson, Jane Goodson, Alan Kirtin, Val Tolhurst, and Will Main. Picture: Denise Bradley Rob Goodson, 3rd left, with his family and friends, during his pingpongathon, 24 hour table tennis marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Poringland. From left, James Goodson, Jane Goodson, Alan Kirtin, Val Tolhurst, and Will Main. Picture: Denise Bradley

Monday, July 28, 2014
10:30 AM

One man’s battle to play table tennis for 86,400 seconds – with the help of dozens of friends – has raised an estimated £2,500 for cancer support.

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Rob Goodson during his pingpongathon, 24 hour table tennis marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Poringland. Picture: Denise BradleyRob Goodson during his pingpongathon, 24 hour table tennis marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Poringland. Picture: Denise Bradley

Rob Goodson, from Poringland, said he dreamed up the 24-hour Pingpongathon after three or four pints in the pub as a way of helping Macmillian Cancer Support, which helped his wife’s grandmother.

An estimated 40 to 50 people took half-hour shifts to play with him during the endurance event, which lasted from 6pm on Friday to 6pm on Saturday, and also included a barbecue and cakes to raise additional funds.

Mr Goodson, a 37-year-old account manager at Suntory, carried out the challenge in the garage of his twin brother James, who also lives in Poringland.

He said: “I think it was adrenaline that got me through it.”

His worst moment was at 4am when Weatherquest forecaster Chris Bell, who he said was “quite handy” at table tennis, upped the tempo when he arrived to do a shift, and Mr Goodson wondered how he would keep it up.

He had one early-morning break for a shower, and another in the afternoon for some food, and finally finished after a round-robin tournament.

He said: “I felt quite emotional. I felt like having a little cry. It was quite personal, and I wanted to raise a lot of money. When I finished it was a flood of relief.”

Alan Kirton, who helped to organise the event, said he was a little surprised by how well Mr Goodson had coped throughout the event, and added: “It’s not been quite as bad as we thought. There have been plenty of people here giving encouragement.”

Asked about the money raised so far, he added: “It’s a little bit surprising. When you are asking for money, people don’t have much money to throw around. Some people were sponsoring £50 here or £20 there, when we were asking for a couple of quid. It’s quite surprising how generous people have been.”

He added that there might be more fundraising challenges to come – but everyone needed a good night’s rest first.

To sponsor Mr Goodson, see www.justgiving.com/robert-goodson1 or text PONG88 £2 to 70070.

Are you planning a charity event? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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