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How a Seattle ping pong club is supporting children's medical research

WE ARE SPIN is participating in the Spin for Kids! Challenge, which raises funds for nonprofit I-ACT. #k5evening

SEATTLE — Seattle's WE ARE SPIN branch, a ping-pong social club, teamed up with the nonprofit Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT) to participate in the Spin to Save Kids! Challenge.

The challenge asks communities to take part in events involving spinning, such as dance, biking, frisbee, and other creative activities. The goal of the challenge is to raise awareness of the inequities faced by children's pharmaceutical development. Donations are given to I-ACT, which advocates for advancing pediatric medical research.

"The issue of clinical trials for children is a deadly serious one," said Betsy Garofalo, MD, chair of the I-ACT board of directors in a press release. "While it's long overdue that the biopharma community prioritizes kids' trials, in a post-COVID world, the need is inescapably urgent."

Our Jose Cedeno went to WE ARE SPIN in downtown Seattle to participate in the challenge. 

"This was just a great fit because it's around the spin challenge and we're at Spin and we play ping pong," said Addisyn Bryant. "Anyone that wants to participate in the challenge on social media, they can do anything with a paddle on a ball that involves spinning the ball. It can be a little bit challenging, but if you get a pointer or two, you can do it." 

Jose got a few tips from the Spin Seattle pros in order to learn the techniques behind spinning a ping pong ball. 

"All it takes to put the spin on a ball is brushing many parts of the ball. If you brush, the bottom becomes underspin," said Utako Kase. "If you brush the top, it becomes top spin. And if you have a side, obviously it becomes a side spin." 

"I think Jose is going to learn a lot today," said pro Ryan Chan.

"I think Jose will have a lot of fun today," Kase said.

After showing off his paddle-holding techniques, Utako intervened.

"There's two ways. One is called Shake Hands. You hold it like this. It's like you're shaking someone's hand. The other way is called pen hold, as if you're holding a pen." 

And after a couple of tries, Jose did finally return a service from a pro.

To participate in the Spin to Save Kids! Challenge, check out their site here

WE ARE SPIN is located at 1511 Sixth Ave. Seattle, WA 98101. Their hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. They are closed on Sundays. 


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