24-hour Diss bowls event raises crucial funds for Big C
Bowls club members raised £5,000 for Norfolk cancer charity the Big C after playing for 24 hours straight in honour of members who had died as a result of the illness.
Diss and District Bowls Club fundraising committee chairman Lynne Ainge said the group had decided to hold the day-long marathon from 7pm on Good Friday because: “We wanted to organise a charity event that not only would be fun for the participants but would benefit Norfolk people and their families who are affected by cancer.”
While the minimum target was to bowl for two hours continuously, some including Mrs Ainge set themselves the challenge of staying awake for the full 24 hours, with only a few rest breaks to stretch their legs and a unique combination of Guiness and Snickers bars to help them stay alert.
As they reached the small hours, the players tried innovative ways to keep the game interesting by putting the jack in different places and playing two games across each other on the same pitch.
“It was awesome,” said Mrs Ainge, who donned a pink onesie for the occasion in recognition of how she had survived breast cancer.
Her husband, Pete, died six months ago from bladder cancer aged 65. During their illnesses both they and family members had received support from the Big C, which runs a support centre for patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
“Because I worked at the hospital throughout my radiotherapy treatment, I needed somewhere I could go and be anonymous,” Mrs Ainge said.
“The Big C were just superb. When my husband was poorly his family came from Leicester and they also went to the Big C and got support. They don’t just help individuals but families.
The family of England international and Norfolk ladies’ singles champion Carol Pollington - another Diss Bowls Club member to have died from cancer - were among the participants.
Candles were available for people to light in memory of loved ones. People can still donate by visiting justgiving.com/dissbowls
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