I’m not sure where the idea for the Winter Charity Pool tournament came from. I think I was missing home and fancied bringing a bit of England over to Turkey. The autumn nights were drawing in, the days getting cooler and some thunderstorms on the horizon were threatening us with their presence. Back in the UK a day like this would only mean one thing: get down the local boozer and sup a few pints around the pool table.
The event was organised for the middle of November and I asked the marina staff to come up with a charity of their choice. Meanwhile I stuck an entry form in the reception that remained unmarked for some time, a constant reminder of my failure to make any kind of impact! Still, on the day, 26 competitors turned up, along with partners and observers. Maybe they were encouraged by the happy hour bar prices the marina agreed to or perhaps they wanted to escape their wet boats. It didn’t matter. We had the atmosphere and the numbers.
As a best-of-three-frames knock-out I had to referee around 100 frames, which ended up running over two days. My refereeing left a lot to be desired but essentially it was a lazy, boozy weekend, helped by the incessant rain that kept people indoors. Because of the odd number of frames we were able to auction off a place or two, allowing those who had been knocked out a second chance to enter. The second auction alone raised over 100ytl!
I don’t know what it is about some people: when I was collecting for the raffle one woman said ‘oh, you’re collecting for those retards, aren’t you?, to which her husband and friends all guffawed. When I reminded her that ‘retard’ probably wasn’t the word she was looking for she replied ‘it’s ok to call them that in Turkey’, implying that Turkey is a little backwards in its attitude towards people with learning disabilities. She took a swig of her beer and refused to buy a ticket. I was incensed by her ignorance, though I was pleased to discover that she was a passing yottie and wouldn’t be staying in Yacht Marina for long. ****ing idiot.
Liz was told by another woman that she would not be buying a raffle ticket as she had her own charity she donated to. Fair enough, but this was the same motor-mouth I had sat next to a few weeks ago as I listened to her referring to blacks as niggers. I wonder what her preferred charity is? Bring Back Hanging Supporters Group? Double ****ing idiot.
Some people really are stupid. End rant.
That aside the upshot of the pool tournament was that the entrants and raffle ticket buyers raised over 700ytl (£270). Imagine our surprise when the marina then agreed to match this sum, whilst their bank then doubled it! By the end of the weekend the grand total raised was $1500, which went to the Turkish national charity, Ozel Olimyatlar, which helps young people with learning disabilities to take part in organised Olympic sports (see the yellow box for more information on the charity). Proof that whilst we swan around in our expensive yachts, living an enviable and carefree lifestyle, some of us can still show a bit of humility and compassion.
The next Do-Gooders plc event, however, stunned everyone…