By Liz Crudgington
Four players chalked up an incredible 24 hours of pool in a fundraising challenge for East Kent Hospitals Charity.
Matt Champ, Callum Tydeman, Sean Kirby and Kirk Knight played through the night, racking up more than £2,400 for Rainbow Ward at the QEQM in Margate.
The challenge took place in February at Frames Snooker Hall in Cliftonville, co-owned by Callum, and he and Matt handed over the proceeds to senior charity officer Dee Neligan last week.
Matt, 33, a partner at Boys and Maughan Solicitors, qualified for the World Championships in 2016 and has played on the UK Pool Tour, but said playing non-stop was gruelling.
The dad-of-two said: “It was horrendous, to be perfectly honest.
“It may not sound particularly demanding, but when you consider being on your feet for 24 hours, and the walking round the table and bending over to take a shot, as well as the mental challenges of the game, it really was a lot.
“I think it took about three days to really recover from the experience. But it was definitely worth it to raise so much money for such a good cause.”
Matt and Callum played most of the matches, joined by Sean and Kirk as well. Matt emerged victorious, winning more than 300 games over the 24-hour period.
Callum, 23, said: “We only stopped to use the toilet, so it really was tough. At one point we were trying to eat pizza while taking a shot, which was quite interesting!
“Our joints seized up and I think it stopped being fun after about three-and-a-half hours, and after about 11 hours I think we both wanted to cry.
“Afterwards we both said never again, but now I think we will probably do more fundraising – perhaps a darts challenge next time though!”
The money will help fund items for the children’s ward to benefit young patients and their families.
Dee said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, East Kent Hospitals Charity have funded single use toys, games and other distraction items for children who are in hospital, to ensure that their stay is more pleasant.
“Thanks to the support of our donors and our wonderful fundraisers, just like Matt, Callum, Sean, and Kirk, we can continue to bring a smile to poorly children’s faces. We are so grateful for everything the team has done for us – thank you so much.”
For more information on East Kent Hospitals Charity and how to make a donation, visit https://www.ekhcharity.org.uk/