All set for Dragon Boat race chal­lenge

THERE’S just over a month un­til the 2012 Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, rais­ing money for East Anglia’s Chil­dren’s Hos­pices. And this year there are a few changes and some new teams tak­ing part, as John Baker dis­cov­ered.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News -

T’S one of the big­gest an­nual fundrais­ers in the city.

And while the boats have shrunk, the or­gan­is­ers of this year’s Peter­bor­ough Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val hope that the num­ber of en­tries won’t.

Gable Events are re­port­ing an in­flux of new teams sign­ing up to take part in the much an­tic­i­pated an­nual event in aid of East Anglia’s Chil­dren’s Hos­pices (EACH).

The fes­ti­val takes place on Satur­day, June 16 on the River Nene at The Em­bank­ment by the Key Theatre in Peter­bor­ough.

Among the new teams signed up so far are Dal­rod, Emer­ald House As­so­ciates, En­ter­prise Peter­bor­ough, Gam­bro, Lamb We­ston UK Ltd, two teams from Agre­serves Ltd and – af­ter open­ing their new res­tau­rant in Cathe­dral Square – Nando’s.

The fes­ti­val is sup­ported by The Evening Tele­graph, Heart FM and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil.

New for 2012, Gable Events will be us­ing their 30ft dragon boats in­stead of the usual 40ft boats, which means a re­duc­tion in the size of the teams from 17 to 11 peo­ple.

They have also dis­counted the en­try fees to make it eas­ier and more af­ford­able to en­ter. Di­rec­tor Carol Lester be­lieves these changes have been a ma­jor fac­tor in many new com­pa­nies sign­ing up to take part.

She said: “The feed­back from pre­vi­ous crews was that they were hav­ing a fan­tas­tic time at the fes­ti­val and that it rep­re­sented great value for money but that it would be eas­ier to form teams if fewer peo­ple were re­quired. “We wanted to at­tract the smaller com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions in Greater Peter­bor­ough who hadn’t been able to be part of the event be­fore, and in­tro­duc­ing the smaller boats has cer­tainly helped. “We have also made it

eas­ier for larger com­pa­nies to en­ter more than one team by dis­count­ing the en­try fees and re­duc­ing the en­try fee for a sec­ond team”.

Over 30 teams made up of lo­cal com­pa­nies, or­gan­i­sa­tions and groups of friends are ex­pected to bat­tle it out in the or­nate dragon boats, and as usual qual­i­fied helms­men and rac­ing equip­ment are pro­vided, with each crew guar­an­teed a min­i­mum of three races.

Nan­dos man­ager David Fee­han, said: “The Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val ticks a lot of boxes for us, of­fer­ing a fun team-build­ing day out while rais­ing our pro­file within the city and pro­vid­ing a great mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity.

“Since the new res­tau­rant opened last Au­gust we have been so busy that op­por­tu­ni­ties for team-build­ing have been slim, so hope­fully the staff will ben­e­fit from that side of things at the same time as net­work­ing at such a well-known and large lo­cal com­mu­nity event.”

Nando’s are us­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the event as a staff in­cen­tive and have come up with a great way to de­cide who gets to be part of the team on the day.

“In our store we have di­vided our staff into five teams of six in an on­go­ing su­per league, col­lect­ing points daily from their man­agers based on cus­tomer ser­vice and food qual­ity. “The win­ning team for the month of May will take part in the race along with one mem­ber of

each of the other four teams se­lected by the man­agers based on work per­for­mance,” said David.

Ex­cit­ing, colour­ful and great fun, no pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired to take part in the dragon boat rac­ing, just plenty of team spirit.

Tro­phies are up for grabs, not only for the top three crews and the fastest mixed crew but also the best-dressed and the crew that raises the most money for EACH (who will also win a meal cour­tesy of The Grain Barge Float­ing Pek­ing Res­tau­rant).

It all means there re­ally is some­thing for ev­ery team to aim for.

The fes­ti­val of­fers a great day out for the teams, their fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers, with plenty of bank­side ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing fun­fair, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, Chi­nese lion dance, food stalls and bar.

FUN FOR YOUNG AND OLD: 13-year-old Sam Bar­low rep­re­sented City Skillers from Peter­bor­ough Re­gional Col­lege in 2008.

OARSOME: Dragon boat rac­ing on the River Nene

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.