Dragonboat racers to raise charity funds

Battle it out at Brindleyplace this summer.

In a bid to be the best in Birmingham, businesses across the city are invited to battle it out at the annual Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race, whilst raising valuable funds for Cure Leukaemia in the process.

Now in its 17th year, the Dragonboat Race returns to the canal at Brindleyplace on Saturday 18 June 2016. In teams of 11, over 200 of the city’s professionals are invited to take to the water in 20ft traditional Chinese longboats to demonstrate their paddling-power; swapping suits for fancy dress as they compete in a series of challenging heats, all in the name of charity.

Alex Perrins, Marketing Executive at Brindleyplace, said: “The Dragonboat Race is one of Birmingham’s most successful annual corporate fundraising events, partly because it’s so accessible. Anyone can enter; you don’t need experience, we provide the kit, and the day itself is fun for the whole family.

“We raised nearly £65,000 for Cure Leukaemia in 2015 and, getting into the competitive spirit of the event, we want to raise even more this year with everyone’s support.”

In honour of Father’s Day, which falls on Sunday 19 June, Cure Leukaemia will be entering a Boat of Dads comprising charity patrons, patients and ambassadors in the race including Cure Leukaemia Patron, ex-England footballer and father of two Geoff Thomas, who was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in 2003.

Anyone not taking part in the race will be able to watch live from Brindleyplace’s Central Square where a host of other family-friendly activities will also be taking place throughout the day, including Oriental-themed live music, dancing and street performers.

For the fifth year running, the festival will be sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Paul Anderson, Head of the bank’s Birmingham operation says: “The race is always one of the highlights in our corporate volunteering calendar. As well as being a fun event, it’s hugely successful in raising valuable funds for great local causes and we are delighted to be supporting Cure Leukaemia again this year.”

Cure Leukaemia’s Head of Corporate Partnerships Jackie Kelly said, “we are very excited to be supported by the Brindleyplace Dragonboat Festival once again this year. Due to Cure Leukaemia’s relationship with the pharmaceutical companies, last year’s fundraising can leverage £650,000 in potentially life-saving treatments for blood cancer patients in the Midlands. I hope we raise even more funds in 2016 and make it a record year for the event.”

Each crew entered, comprising of ten ‘paddlers’ and one ‘drummer’, is asked to raise £200 per team member, with a charitable entry fee of £500. All funds raised go directly to Cure Leukaemia. Places in the race are limited and all teams need to have registered their interest by April 30th 2016.

To enter a team or find out more this year’s Dragonboat Race email [email protected] or visit www.brindleyplace.com.