The Sue Ryder Dragon Boat Festival 2014 – 'Bringing Charities Together'

Sue Ryder Dragon Boat Festival image small (1)Sue Ryder, the national charity providing incredible hospice and neurological care in local communities, is currently recruiting teams for the Sue Ryder Dragon Boat Festival.

For the second year running, this event is kindly sponsored by Itec, Bristol’s leading provider of office print productions, document workflow solutions and production print in the South West. Headquartered in Bristol, Itec also has offices in Exeter, Plymouth, South Molton, Bournemouth and London.

The fun community event is taking place at Bristol Docks on Sunday 14th September 2014. Now in its eighth year, the Festival features different teams racing Chinese-style dragon boats over a course of 250m for charity. More than £50,000 was raised last year for a wide range of local causes.

A day-long event, the Sue Ryder Dragon Boat Festival is exhilarating for the competitors, and thrilling for the 1000’s of spectators, who cheer along the racers while enjoying the entertainment, kids area, and food and drink stalls run by local Bristol companies along the dockside. This is the first year that Sue Ryder has organised the Festival, and the charity is very keen that the event supports a host of local charities, while giving both entrants and spectators a fantastic day out.

Those wishing to enter can either race a boat on behalf of Sue Ryder, or a local charity of their choice. Money raised for Sue Ryder will provide vital funds that will help the charity to continue to provide quality hospice and neurological care for people living with life limiting conditions including; cancer, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Dementia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neurone disease.

Elise Hoadley, Hospice Director, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice said; “The Dragon Boat Festival is enormous fun, whether you’re watching or taking part, and we’re very proud to be hosting the event to raise money for Sue Ryder and other local charities.

We do have a limited number on how many boats can take part however, so we are suggesting that teams and charities sign up quick, to guarantee that they can race on the day.”

Nick Orme, CEO, Itec added; “We’ve sponsored the Festival for the second time, because we want to support the great work that Sue Ryder, and all the other local charities involved do for the South West. Last year’s event was very successful, with the highest number of teams and spectators ever – this year promises to be even bigger and better!”

Basic entry and competition details are:

  • Short heats take place throughout the day as teams compete for the fastest time, resulting in one final race
  • Crews of 16 paddlers (plus a drummer) race in Chinese-style Dragon Boats over a 250-metre course
  • Crews do not need to be super fit or skilled – it is all about teamwork and having fun
  • Dragon Boat racing is steeped in mythology and has been around for many thousands of years in China 
  • The racing is run by leading events company Dragon Boat Events Ltd who provide the boats, helms, safety equipment, buoyancy aids and rescue boats
  •  To enter a boat for Sue Ryder costs £355 (including access to the Sue Ryder ‘race village’ with complimentary refreshments). To enter a boat for another charity costs £375
  •  The Festival is held to raise funds for charity, so each team should have a target of at least £1750 for their chosen cause

For more information, please visit the Sue Ryder website or Twitter for full details of how to enter and to receive up to date news on the event.

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