NETTING NUMBERS: Tim Craig is hoping to rally together teams for the annual Nambour Ping Pong-a-thon.
NETTING NUMBERS: Tim Craig is hoping to rally together teams for the annual Nambour Ping Pong-a-thon. John McCutcheon

How to combat human trafficking: one shot at a time

NINE out of ten people would have grown up with a ping pong table.

Whether it was used as an extra table for Tupperware parties, or as a "friendly" family game at Christmas, when the bats came out the pong was on until the last paddle standing.

Now, residents on the Coast can limber up, stretch out those shoulders and get ready for a 24 hour ping pong marathon.

Nambour is set to host the annual Ping-Pong-a-thon from October 28-29, and organisers are calling out for teams to register for the nationwide event.

Coast organiser Tim Craig said participants sign up to play for a minimum of three hours, and the funds raised support the work of Inspiring Partners who are playing a part in bringing an end to human trafficking and exploitation.

Last year, the event saw 1500 participants at 41 venues including churches, schools, sporting clubs and local pubs, raise $203,000.

"It's just a really great event to be a part of," Tim said.

"We're calling on teams to get together and sign up for some fun, while raising funds for a very worthy cause."

While keeping with the vision of male dominated teams - to engage the hearts of boys and men as advocates on issues of trafficking - the event opened up the participation of women for the first time right on the Coast with the Nambour event leading the way.

"The event was particularly aimed at men and boys because men are the primary participants or offenders of human trafficking, and there is also a lack in men's voices in speaking out against human trafficking," Tim said.

"Last year Jenny Brown, who organised the first Nambour event, pioneered the first Pink Pong-a-Thon because she had an influx of women wanting to participate.

"It's a lot of fun, the guys and girls have their own separate space to talk openly and honestly - we facilitate a bit of discussion and then enjoy playing ping pong."

Tim said the rules were simple - you register and sign up for a timeslot to play.

"Any sponsorship or fundraising you can bring on the day and we will collect, and there is a minimum of three hours you must play, but you get a break - we don't chain you to the table," he said with a laugh.

"Last year we had guys playing singles, doubles and round the world where you have a group of 15 people and you each get a hit of the ball.

"People dressed up, we had young guys playing sting pong, where if they lost a shot someone hit a ball at them - it gets pretty hilarious."

The Ping Pong-a-thon and Pink Pong-a-thon will be held at the Flame Tree Baptist Church, Nambour, at 27 Coes Creek Road on October 28-29.

It will start at 6pm.

For enquiries contact timothy.craig99@gmail.com.

Registrations are now open at www.pingpongathon.com



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