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SEPTEMBER 2011 31

Celebrities & sports stars join forces to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

FORMER DANCING ON Ice Judge, Nicky Slater, joined TV Presenter and Dancing on Ice 2011 star, Laura Hamilton, in the Charity Skateathon at The Leisurebox ice rink and bowling alley in Birmingham. Slater and Ms. Hamilton, who finished second in this year’s Dancing on Ice competition, both were able to pass on their experience to skaters who took part in the 130 lap ‘Ten Mile Challenge’ in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Slater enthused: “I was delighted to be able to offer my support to such a wonderful cause. Ice skating is a huge part of my life so it was pleasing to see it being used in a way that can help so many

children. Although I was skating instead of judging, the event certainly scored a big 6.0 for me!” The Skateathon was open to skaters of all age and ability, with coaches on hand to offer support and advice, with all proceeds going to the Heart Appeal at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Prizes were available to the top fundraisers as well as random participants, especially fancy dress – the more outrageous, the bigger the prize. Also taking part were three of the Midlands top Ice Hockey Teams; Elite League side Coventry Blaze along with the English Premier League’s Telford Tigers and National

League Solihull Barons, who all pledged their full support to what was a unique event. With a sponsored strike bowling competition to raise further funds, fans were able to test their skills against the pro players. Telford Tigers Head Coach and GB international, Tom Watkins, had better reason than most for supporting the cause; “I was very happy to support the event. The Children's Hospital played a pivotal part in my son’s life after he was diagnosed with a serious heart defect at birth. Their expertise treatment he received enabled my son to play ice hockey and live a full and active life. This was something that the Tigers

tery investment from Sport England. This year, further support will come from sponsors Puma, who are lovers of the game. Ping! Project Manager Meera Sodha said of the fourweeks: “Putting table tennis table on the streets gave people the chance to connect with other people and the city around them – all of a sudden people were talking, playing, smiling and having fun – it generated an enormous sense of well being. Last year’s event in London saw over 50,000 people play table tennis and we hoped that the

people of Birmingham enjoyed it just as much” Richard Yule, ETTA’s Chief Executive, said: “After the overwhelming success of Ping London, we were excited to see the project return for a second year as it ventured north to “Ping” the great city of Birmingham. Table tennis can help break down barriers, bring communities together and put a smile on people’s faces, so it was encouraging to see everyone playing and take full advantage of the free tables popped up in some of the most unexpected locations this summer.”

and Telford Junior Club were keen to get behind. The Skateathon was a lot of fun for such a worthy cause.” Chris Carpenter, General Manager at Leisurebox, said: "We chose to support Birmingham Children's Hospital as it touches the lives of thousands of Birmingham residents each year. Every day we have hundreds of children through our front doors and it seemed right to give back to an organisation that gives so much to them. Working closely with the local community is a big priority to our business, so, we were delighted to be able to support The Heart Appeal through our Skateathon."

Table tennis goes ‘Ping!’in the city T

ABLE TENNIS TABLES popped across the city to mark the English Table Tennis Association’s partnership with Sing London, to delivery a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympic Games. Called ‘Stop and Play,’ throughout July, tables appeared across Birmingham’s landmarks, squares, shopping centres, estates, offices and train stations. Totally free for anyone to play, bats and balls were supplied; all you had to do was borrow a bat from the side of the table and away you went. With tables set up in places like Victoria Square, the St. Martin’s Open Market, off Broad Street in Brindleyplace and St. Phillips Cathedral. Sing London, the participatory arts organisation, in association with ETTA called the exercise Ping, which was supported by National Lot-

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