When brothers Sam and Joseph Cooper decided to take on a lockdown challenge and help others in the process, they didn’t in their wildest dreams imagine they would break the £5,000 barrier for charity.
The boys from Derbyshire played a 24-hour table tennis marathon, from 9am on Saturday to 9am on Sunday, to raise money for The Trussell Trust, a charity which supports food banks.
Their target was £300 but thanks to the power of social media and the generosity of donors, they powered past that figure and have currently raised an amazing £5,000 via the Just Giving website.
Joseph, aged 12, and Sam, 15, stopped only for toilet breaks – when dad Graham, mum Georgina or sister Phoebe stepped in briefly to keep the play going.
With messages of support coming in from their club and England coaches, plus some creative refuelling tactics, as shown in the video below, they kept up their effort around the clock.
Joseph, a member of the England Aspire Squad, part of the Table Tennis England performance pathway, said: “It was pretty tough. It was physically tiring but the hardest part was trying to stay focused for that long with no sleep.
“My mum was updating the total raised each hour and that was helping to motivate us. Doritos, Coke and Lucozade Sport helped keep us going too! My dad showed us video messages from Jon Bayliss, our coach at Draycott, and from (England coaches) Alan Cooke and Gavin Evans and these helped when we felt like stopping.”
Sam added: “We did it because we wanted a challenge and in this difficult time thought we should try to help others.
“We are surprised and grateful for all the support we have had. We weren’t expecting to raise anywhere near £5,000 but we’re really pleased that it helped to raise so much money for a good cause.”