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Scrabble Players Wanted!

Parishioners Cathy and Michael Carney are organising a 24 hour game of Scrabble from 9pm on Wednesday 2nd March to 9.00pm on Thursday 2nd March to raise money for Motor Neurons Disease as part of a Global Fundraising effort and need a pool of players to share the playing time. Can you help support?

Published: 26 January 2023

Slapton Scrabble Marathon


Background to the event:
Professor Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 having suffered with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) for over 50 years in March 2018. This high-profile victim of a rare but incurable condition was joined by the passing of the legendary Scottish International rugby player, George Wilson (Doddie) Weir OBE in November last year after just 5 years from diagnosis. This degenerative disease has a strong link with professional rugby and football players and too often shows up later in life when the victims are retired and no longer in the public eye.

Whilst working over in the UAE in my construction career I had the pleasure to meet and befriend a man, Sandy Stirling, who is one of the most effective professional networkers and brand ambassadors I have ever met. As a business development manager with Al Tayer Stocks, he linked me to influencers in the industry out there on regular occasions and we grew to be close golfing buddies (what happens on the golf course – stays on the golf course). Sandy played competitive rugby himself and lost his father to MND in 2017. This struck a nerve, and so Sandy set out to push himself out of his comfort zone to raise money for the charitable research cause.

Just three years ago Sandy decided to take up cycling with a view to undertake an endurance event in Dubai using the Al Qudra track just outside Dubai. This 50km loop track was built for free use of Dubai cyclists by the Crown Prince (Shk Hamdan) over what were historical camel tracks and has proved visionary to moving people living and working in the UAE toward a healthier lifestyle. Cycling is now huge in Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the UAE Team Emirates have some of the top performers in the World (who knew?).

Sandy started out in March 2021 with a solo endurance ride where he was supported over 24 hours by many individual cyclists riding along side him and he raised a large sum of money for the cause. Last year (2022) he promoted the concept to a completely different level and moved to many events around the Globe all based on 24 hours endurance, establishing the MND 24 brand and encouraging events that raise awareness and raise funds for MND research. His expansion of the concept has proved exponential as we approach the 2023 season this coming March and I received an invitation to create an event here in Slapton!

I not being negative when I say that not only myself, but the majority demographic in our parish is not conducive to 24 hours of cycling around the lanes and hills of the South Hams in March. I pointed this out to Sandy in my response and stated we here are more aligned with a marathon game of Scrabble than we would be peddling the metal. “That would be AWESOME” was his response “I can send you the motif for you get some T shirts done and all I need is a few home videos taken on set up and during the Event to link it up with the MND 24 Brand”.

And so we are organising a 24 hour game of Scrabble to Raise Money for Motor Neuron Disease and need a pool of players to share the playing time (an hour or two here and there is fine) – the rule says 24 cumulative hours of play – it does not need the same players throughout the session.

We will be playing by the official rules on a single table using the UK Scrabble Dictionary and will be keeping good records of all scores and a referee will be deployed at all times.

The highest “average” score will be deemed the winner (minimum 3 games played) and I have no idea yet what the prize will be. There should be a donation given to play (whatever you feel appropriate) and we will be encouraging all to come and watch whilst drinking tea, possibly eating cake and anything else we can think of to attract the crowd with a donation pot on the go. All proceeds will be forwarded to the Motor Neuron Disease Association here in the UK.

This is a shout out for Participants from the Village – all ages and all standards welcome – to join the table during the 24 hours and enter into a game for charity. Given 4 players and a referee are needed for 24 hours, we have 120 hour slots available.

The kick off will be at 9.00pm on Wednesday 1st March with conclusion reached at 9.00pm on Thursday 2ndMarch 2023 (end of game in play).

The game will start play in Carlane Court, Slapton and move on the Thursday morning (10.00am) down to the Queens Arms pub until the end of play.

Please contact or call on 07877 424108 to book a slot or just look out for some posters to direct you to where the event is happening so you can pop along and cheer the game on.



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