By Mike Atkinson | Drive Producer and Public Relations Officer
The 98five team — dubbed the Ping Pong Power Rangers — took home 1st and 2nd place in the Ping Pong-a-thon’s CBD venue on Friday, to help raise funds to stop child exploitation in south east Asia.
Drive with Jeziel broadcast live from 3–6pm at The Quadrant, Perth CBD and the atmosphere was pumping with city workers joining in on the three ping pong tables at the venue.
Jeziel with Malcolm (far left, Jed, middle left and Perth CBD Coordinator Martin Dodge, middle right)
Jeziel’s team included Malcolm, Emmanuel and Steven to take on other teams from the CBD’s corporate world.
Perth City Pong became the number one fundraising venue in The Pong’s six year history with a current total of $17,412, passing last year’s record holders, Nambour, QLD.
On a national front, the target has flown passed the $100,000 mark, edging ever closer to the $400,000 target.
Jeziel made it hard for the Ping Pong Power Rangers by selecting a few ‘hinders’ for the team. He made Emanuel play with his left hand and with an eye patch on, gaffer taped a 2 litre water bottle to Jed’s arm and put toothpaste under Malcolms eyes to make him cry.
Ping Pong-a-thon Director Adrian Rowse said it costs around $1500 to save a child from forced labour.
“I spent two years working in Thailand with an organisation that was helping teenage boys that, because of the poverty of their circumstance, were having to sell themselves to survive to have enough to eat at night and have somewhere to live,” said Mr Rowse.
“It really broke my heart and when I came back to Australia I decided I would do anything for these kids to have a chance for a new future, something we take for granted.
“We started our first event with 15 guys at one table tennis table for 24 hours and we raised $10,000 that year and it just worked. It was so much fun and there was so much community spirit and it’s grown from there on.”
Ping Pong-a-thon facts
It started back in 2011 and last year the event managed to raise more than $200,000 nationwide, with Drive broadcasting from the Canning Vale event in October 2015.
98five hosted the Ping Pong-a-thon tryouts in September, where 12 year old Jed stole the show with his table tennis skills. He even brought his own bat along! Emanuel had to play half his game with a chicken on his hand which actually improved his game.
Other Events in WA
KWINANA: October 15-16 at the Kwinana Corps Salvation Army, Cnr Medina Avenue and Hoyle Road, Medina
LAKE JOONDALUP: October 21-22 at the Lake Joondalup Baptist College and Church, 8 Kennedya Drive, Joondalup
NORTH BEACH: October 14-15 at the North Beach Baptist Church, 10 Groat Street, North Beach
BOORAGOON: October 14-15: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 497 Marmion St, Booragoon
NORTHBRIDGE: October 28-29 at the Perth Amphitheatrem, James Street, Northbridge
ROCKINGHAM: October 21-22 at the Rockingham Baptist Church, 30 Gnangara Drive
For more information head to www.pingpongathon.com