Super Gran Jean McLaughlin BEM is nearing the end of her 80 challenges in a year to celebrate turning 80. After walking on stilts, shooting a bull’s eye in archery, line rod fishing at St Catherine’s, walking up the airport runway and working at Lucas Farm Shop, Jean recently called into the Geoff Reed Table Tennis Centre at FB Fields to try her hand at table tennis with the Bat and Chat group.

Although this was the first time, she had picked up a bat, Jean kept telling herself, “never take your eye off the ball, never let it wander and that seemed to work. I really enjoyed the morning. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and we had coffee and homemade cakes at half time. After I told them about my 80 challenges and the reason behind them there were a few tears and the players did a whip round. I didn’t expect a donation but they were very kind and compassionate. I think I might join Bat and Chat as I liked the company and they are a lovely lot of people.”

Kay Lefebvre, a recent international veterans silver medallist in Cardiff, gave Jean some basic coaching and then she played various singles and doubles matches.

Paul Routier MBE, JTTA President said, “Jean was impressed with the Bat and Chat group who listened carefully to her account. She told us why she was doing it all and it was felt appropriate to give her a donation. We were pleased to be part of this unique lady’s year of challenges.”

In the first half of her challenges Jean raised approximately £1,000 for the Jersey Alzheimer’s Association. Since the recent death of her daughter, Karryna Lovesey (42) from a rare and aggressive cancer, Jean has been concentrating her fundraising on local cancer related charities and she will be dividing the final proceeds between:

Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey

Friends of Jersey Oncology

Cancer Research UK Jersey

“I have only 6 or 8 challenges left to reach my target before Christmas and I will be bouncing on pogo sticks, trying out billiards and playing a round of golf. If I can manage it, I will do an extra 5 for my daughter who was planning to do them when she recovered.”

Audrey Tupper

22 Nov 2018