• Charities facing major fundraising challenges as COVID limits public interactions.
• Team Lopez Foundation to launch virtual fundraising using Esports.
— Professor Stephen Clarke
SYDNEY, NSW, AUSTRALIA, March 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — When it came to raising funds for research into fighting pancreatic cancer Mary-Ann Lopez found there was no lack of enthusiasm – just one major problem.
“Last year members of the Team Lopez Foundation were brainstorming fundraising events and in the same online meeting the medical team we work with were telling us that due to COVID they couldn’t get together for a photo for our new website,” said Mrs Lopez.
“Even with the end of lockdowns and easing of restrictions it became clear face to face fundraising would continue to be impacted for some time,” said Mrs Lopez whose husband Alex lost his fight to pancreatic cancer in 2019.
In response the Foundation set up in his name has partnered with US-based specialist Trackmania to set up one of Australia’s first Esports fundraisers.
“Alex was a car racing fanatic, so the event very much aligns with that but that’s not to say that some of us at the Foundation had to overcome the stereotype of the typical gamer or even quietly Google ‘Esports’,” said Mrs Lopez.
There are over 230 million regular Esports players globally, with recent research commissioned by Google highlighting 44% of players in the Asia-Pacific are over 35 years old while females account for 47% of all players.
“The more we looked into it, the more it became clear that Esports is an incredibly diverse community and one we think that in Australia and beyond will be happy to follow their gaming passion while supporting a charity,” said Mrs Lopez.
Team Lopez is though also focusing on first time gamers through simple instructions and staging beginner racers during the online event over lunchtime on Friday, April 22nd. The Foundation believes the rise of remote workplaces and flexible working will also see employers support their team members taking an hour over lunch to play online.
“Every year over 3,500 Australian’s are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the survival rates are frankly abysmal,” said Medical Oncologist Professor Stephen Clarke OAM, who advises the Foundation.
“Innovative research into reversing that number also needs some innovation in fundraising and rather than bemoan the barriers Covid has thrown up the Foundation is looking to tap into a huge and passionate virtual community.
“I hadn’t at this stage of my career thought I’d be learning the finer arts of how to become a gamer but really it’s no different to someone challenging themselves to get fit for a charity walk or run,” said Professor Clarke.
The Race to Beat Pancreatic Cancer will be held on Friday April 22nd and interested participants can register here: https://www.teamlopezfoundation.org.au/upcomingevents.
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