After an hour or two of tennis or padel these days, many of us are ready for a good nap – so the prospect of playing for 24 hours straight is mind-boggling; but that’s just what club members Jon Hipkin and Liz Hickling did last month, raising over £2,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance in the process, as well as funds for the club.
The remarkable and inspirational feat of endurance finished at midday on Sunday 27th August, under a last-minute cloudburst and in front of a large crowd of friends and well-wishers. In an emotional speech the pair thanked all those members who filled the 48 playing spots – at all hours of day and night – and supplied provisions and moral support. ‘This is a special club’ said Jon.
Reflecting some days later, Liz said “There were many highs and lows for me during the challenge. I think my lowest point was when it was absolutely pitch black and I looked at the clock and it said midnight… a real bitter-sweet moment as I knew we were halfway there, but also we had to do the same amount again!”
“My highest point for sure was the sight of a sea of friendly faces on the deck as we finished… we can’t thank everyone enough for turning up to support us and for sending us encouraging messages throughout the challenge. You’re all amazing and we definitely couldn’t have done it without you.”
Jon said, “In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined the level of support we received from so many people who either signed up to play with us, came along to cheer us on, brought drinks and food to keep us going, or turned up at the end of the challenge. I will never be able to adequately thank all those people.
The moment I think I will always remember is the most beautiful sunrise on Sunday morning, bringing light, warmth and the knowledge we were nearly there. It was just one of those moments when I felt very lucky to be alive and surrounded by friends.” As soon as the Challenge finished there was talk of an annual charity event inspired by the efforts of Liz and Jon. If anyone has any ideas on what this could look like I am sure Liz and Jon would love to hear!
In the meantime, if you would like to add a donation, the Just Giving page is still open here.