Cyprus Mail

Table tennis challenge to support health care workers

Ian and Ellis Charlesworth

A father and son from Paphos were undertaking a table tennis challenge on Wednesday to raise funds for front line medics and staff working in Cyprus and the UK.

Ian Charlesworth and his 14-year-old son Ellis only recently discovered the sport a few weeks ago, since lockdown got underway in Cyprus. Since then they have played dozens of games and are hoping to put their new-found talent to use by raising money for good causes.

“We wanted to acknowledge the fantastic job Cyprus has done in curtailing this virus so far and we are raising funds for front line services in Cyprus, and also Gesy. We also want to recognise the work of the UK front line staff as well,” Ian told the Cyprus Mail.

The challenge was due to get underway at around 9.30am on Wednesday morning and the father and son are hoping to raise at least £500 to be split equally between the UK’s National Emergencies Trust and Cyprus’ equivalent, to help front line and NHS/Gesy staff battling coronavirus on a daily basis

“We thought of all the creativity, generosity, community spirit and donations to the coronavirus cause others have undertaken and we thought we could do something to give a little back. We wanted to help both the UK and in Cyprus, and at the same time combine it with our new-found love of table tennis, so it will help us to improve our games as well,” Ian said.

The Dad also thought that taking up the sport would be a fun way to spend quality time with his son, and encourage him out into the fresh air away from the computer and TV, he said.

The duo have also been inspired by the amazing feat of 99 year old Captain Tom Moore in the UK, who has raised in excess of £27.5 million for the NHS, by walking the length of his garden to raise as much money as possible before his 100th Birthday on April 30.

The family moved to Paphos in 2018 and Ellis and sister, 10-year-old Scarlet, usually attend Aspire School. However, as schools across the island are now shut, the family decided to find new ways to spend their time together.

The duo have already learned a lot about the game and current regulations, and have changed their game play accordingly.

Ellis is now beating his father, usually around five games to three.

“We’ve improved and soon I will be struggling to beat Ellis. We decided to do a one match 500-point challenge,” he said.

Liverpool football fan Ellis, loves PE and plays for ‘Pafos FC Academy’and is thoroughly enjoying table tennis. The pair are also waiting for a new table to be delivered, which unfortunately won’t arrive in time for their challenge.

“We would love people to support us and donate to this cause and if the game doesn’t last too long, or if we don’t receive enough donations, then we may continue or do another challenge to continue the sponsorship.”

There is a dedicated JustGiving page to the challenge and the pair are requesting the public support their challenge by donating whatever possible.

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