Summer in Cambridge is all about messing about on the river, and on 6 September perhaps the city’s most exuberant boating event takes place.
The Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival takes over the River Cam at Fen Ditton every year and is one of the largest, most eagerly anticipated team events in the region. Over 40 crews representing companies, organisations, clubs and groups of friends from all over Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas will be letting their hair down and putting on their best battle faces to try and become master of the 200m racecourse.
This year, teams will be seeking to knock Stanton Williams off their pedestal as reigning champions, whilst also aiming to beat last year’s impressive event fundraising total of more than £23,000 for local charity East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
How to enter…
The beauty of dragon boat racing is that it’s not reliant on brute strength – it’s something everyone can take part in. The key to success is teamwork, timing and the ability to listen to your helm’s instructions – failure to do so could result in an early bath! There really is nothing more amusing than seeing a crew of super-confident burly builders come unstuck against a crew of IT consultants… So even if you don’t have the arms of Thor or the athletic prowess of Victoria Pendleton, fear not as anyone can succeed in Dragon Boat Racing, which is why this event is so appealing to companies looking for a fun way to motivate staff and strengthen team spirit. It’s also a chance to dress up and express your sillier side – the louder your costumes, the better! The boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races.
The Festival offers a full day of fun on land as well as water, with plenty of activities on the bankside to entertain teams and spectators between races, and the event is proudly supported by Cambridge Edition and Heart 103. Teams are now being sought, offering great team building and brand awareness opportunities. Gold and Silver entries give companies additional marketing benefits to the standard entry, one of the most visual being the company’s name and/or logo adorning both sides of one of the dragon boats.
The entry fees also include a donation to EACH (£750 donation for Gold entries and £500 for Silver entries) so it’s not only a great way to raise your company profile but a chance to fulfil corporate social responsibility (CSR) and help a fantastic local cause at the same time.
Cantab Capital Partners, EACS and Cambridge Broadband Networks are amongst the companies that have already entered Gold and Silver teams and the race is on to secure the rest, limited to eight each year.
A bit about the charity…
Local charity EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. They provide care and support wherever the family requires – whether in families’ own homes, in hospital or at one of their hospices in Milton, Ipswich and Quidenham.
Beccy Turner, Fundraiser at EACH, comments: “The money raised through the generosity of the teams taking part in the Dragon Boat Festival is very important to us and will go towards the one-to-one nursing care and support that is so vital to life-threatened local children and their families. The top fundraisers for EACH will win the charity trophy plus a prize meal courtesy of Las Iguanas in Cambridge.
A word from the organisers…
Carol Lester, director of festival organisers Gable Events, adds: “The Festival is a great chance for companies and organisations to try something completely different, promote themselves to a large local audience, network with local companies and potential clients and raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. It is also a fantastic team-building opportunity – what better way to get to know what makes your colleagues and competitors tick? We expect the Festival to be another sell-out success so we recommend teams get their entries in early to guarantee a place.”
Entries are being taken now. For further information and an entry form, please call Gable Events on 01780 470 718 or visit the website.