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Why we loved running The Pong

2016, fundraising, Pong-Pong-A-Thon

Written by IJM
Posted on 28 October 2016 under Recent posts, What others are doing.

Australian National University's IJM Society raised $8000 a few weekends ago by playing ping pong.

We asked Rachel Djoeandy from ANU IJM Society in Canberra to tell us about her experience of running a Ping Pong A Thon event for the first time on campus. Here's what she and a couple of the other organisers told us. 

ANU IJM PPAT from IJM Australia on Vimeo.

In October the ANU IJM Society ran the ‘Ping-Pong-A-Thon’ at a residential hall on the Australian National University campus. The ANU Pong saw 56 individuals, mostly students and mostly guys, come play table tennis in a relay-style 24 hour marathon.

It was an incredibly rewarding experience for the organisers and we will definitely run it again next year. There are a couple reasons we enjoyed it so much. Firstly, it was so encouraging to see young men step up in the fight against sex-trafficking and exploitation. Many guys who wouldn’t normally be involved in social justice events or advocacy came along to play simply because they were asked by a friend. One even joined because he passed by when the event was running, and several others stopped to ask what it was about.

Not only was it exciting to see so many participate, it was great to have some in-depth conversations with these men about the issue of sex-trafficking and exploitation and to see them engage and demonstrate a heart to want to stop this form of exploitation in which men are predominantly the consumers.

Many guys who wouldn’t normally be involved in social justice events or advocacy came along to play simply because they were asked by a friend.

The Pong gives participants a chance to connect their networks of family, friends and colleagues to the issue by asking them for sponsorship. We saw almost all participants reach out to their networks and together we raised an amazing $8000+ for the Pong Partner organisations fighting sex-trafficking and exploitation of children and young people in South-East Asia, including International Justice Mission.

Another reason we loved running the Pong is that it is a well-established event (2016 being its 6th year) with an extremely helpful and supportive administration team. Right from the beginning they are in regular contact with you to encourage you in your planning and answer any questions you may have. They provide you with an organiser’s manual, promotion material and all the information resources you need to run a successful event. They also do excellent communication with your participants via email in the lead up and after the event, as well as regular social media updates.

The admin team is also great at creating a sense of community amongst the organisers across Australia. It was inspiring to know we were part of something bigger with the Pong being run in 70+ venues all around Australia in 2016, including churches, schools, corporate venues and more.

It was both comical and encouraging to think that other people were also playing table tennis at 3am! We’re looking forward to next year and hope to see more of you joining us in running a Pong-Pong-A-Thon at your local venue.

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