Warm­ing up for the first World Se­ries…of beer pong

Reporter Vicky Cas­tle headed down to Ken­ning­ton Cricket Club to try out beer pong. Watch her in ac­tion at www.ken­ton­line.co.uk/kmtv.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Next Stop Could Be Vegas - By Vicky Cas­tle

Usu­ally re­served for par­ties and pubs, you might recog­nise beer pong as a fun drink­ing game played by friends.

But thanks to an Ash­ford-based com­pany, Break­through Fund­ing, Bri­tain will be send­ing its first of­fi­cial team to the World Se­ries, in Las Ve­gas, and two res­i­dents are hop­ing to be the ones to win.

Dave Finch and Ian Hughes, make up The Two Old Pros – the qual­i­fied Ash­ford team head­ing to Lon­don for the UK’s first of­fi­cial Brit Pong cham­pi­onship.

On Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 29, the hope­ful pair will head to Bounce, in Far­ring­don, Lon­don, to play 64 other teams – in­clud­ing a duo from Down­ing Street – in a bid to be­come the in­au­gu­ral Brit Pong cham­pi­ons.

Top prize in­cludes £5,000, plus a four-night trip to Las Ve­gas and a chance to win the $50,000 (£34,410) cham­pi­onship money.

Ian, who lives in Kingsnorth with his wife and three chil­dren, said: “We’re re­ally ex­cited about the cham­pi­onship and look­ing for­ward to a great evening.

“The at­mos­phere is just fan­tas­tic and even the peo­ple who came to watch just love it.

“I didn’t even know what beer pong was when we were first told about the cham­pi­onships, I had to google it!

“But it’s great fun to get ev­ery­one play­ing and we’ve got ev­ery­one in­volved – friends, fam­ily, neigh­bours, even the kids – al­though ob­vi­ously not with beer.”

Ian and Dave have known each other for more than 30 years and play cricket to­gether at Ken­ning­ton Cricket Club.

Their tongue-in-cheek team name was cho­sen by Dave, 56, a pho­to­copier en­gi­neer from Ken­ning­ton, who said they are among the older play­ers in the game.

He said: “Nei­ther of us have done any­thing like this be­fore and I cer­tainly didn’t see my­self do­ing any­thing like it. But it’s re­ally good fun that doesn’t take it­self too se­ri­ously.

“I’d say Ian is the bet­ter player out of the two of us, he’s the younger one!”

The Brit Pong cham­pi­onships are spon­sored by Break­through Fund­ing, whose HQ is in Sev­ing­ton, a com­pany that dishes out R&D tax cred­its to in­no­va­tors.

Sue Nelson, CEO and spon­sor of Brit Pong, said beer pong seemed to draw in their client base. She said: “We do a lot of work with the tech com­mu­nity and this is their game – we call it the game of geeks!

“We’ve had an in­cred­i­ble amount of in­ter­est and sup­port for Brit Pong across the coun­try. There’s never been a UK cham­pi­onship recog­nised by the World Se­ries be­fore.

“The first qual­i­fier tour­na­ment was held in Ash­ford and was a huge hit.

“It’s about time we had a Bri­tish win­ner!”

Spec­ta­tor tick­ets for the cham­pi­onships on Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 29, are free and avail­able un­til next Thurs­day.. For more, visit brit­pong2016. eventbrite.co.uk

FM4215258 FM4215269

Ian Hughes and Dave Finch with the ta­ble set for a game, at Ken­ning­ton Cricket Club

Sue Nelson, CEO of spon­sors Break­through Fund­ing - ‘we call it the game of geeks’

Pic­tures: Gary Browne FM4215244

Dave Finch and Ian Hughes who have qual­i­fied to en­ter the first of­fi­cial Brit Pong cham­pi­onship, where suc­cess could take them to Las Ve­gas

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