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ENTRIES NOW OPEN FOR PETERBOROUGH DRAGON BOAT RACE

On your mark, get set, go! Entries are now officially open for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2020 on Saturday June 13 at Peterborough Rowing Lake.

Last year’s festival saw 48 teams race each other in authentic Chinese dragon boats and raised £35,000 for local charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Once again ESP Magazine is a proud partner of the event which is sponsored this year by Whirlpool UK.

As well as raising much needed funds for this wonderful charity, we assure you this is also a lot of fun! Our own ESP Motley Crew have taken part many times and regardless of what place we come (never 1st – but we plan to change that this year), everyone walks away grinning ear to ear.

We love how some teams take the race very seriously – stretching and giving passionate motivational speeches, whilst others lounge in the sun drinking beer and gorging on burgers cooked fresh on a BBQ. The thing that all teams have in common however, is that we all love every minute of it.

Organisers Gable Events are hoping the 2020 festival, which will be the 22nd held in Peterborough and sponsored this year by Whirlpool UK (with ESP Magazine being a media partner), will be the biggest and best to date.

Teams will compete over the 200-metre course in 30ft dragon boats, each with an ornately carved dragon’s head and its own drummer at the front beating out time.

As well as the races, which are expected to be watched by several thousand spectators, there will be plenty of bankside stalls and entertainment for all the family to enjoy – and we’re not just talking about the occasional crew you see end up in the lake (it’s a rarity honest!).

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has to fundraise £2.4 million this year to continue providing its vital support to people across the region, which makes events like the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival even more important.

There is a great incentive for teams to raise as much sponsorship as possible – the top fundraisers will be awarded the charity trophy and receive a special escape room experience at Escape Peterborough.

Nilesh Patel, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Senior Community Fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who supported us at the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2019; it was a 48 team sell out and raised a staggering £35,000. This could pay for over 1,800 hours of our expert and compassionate palliative care, helping our Sue Ryder Nurses and care team support patients and their loved ones through the most difficult times of their lives. 

“We are thrilled to once again be the charity partner for the 2020 festival and would love to see everyone come together to make it the best one to date. 

“Dragon boat racing is the fastest growing water activity in the UK today – as well as the most fun! The best part is you don’t need any previous experience, just plenty of enthusiasm, energy and fighting spirit! It’s the perfect opportunity for friends, families, workmates and groups to come together and do something completely different. 

“All funds raised will ensure that we can carry on providing our specialist care and being there when it matters for local families.” 

The ESP Motley Crew can’t wait to participate this year and we hope to see you there. Just be warned… we’re bringing our ‘A’ game!

For more information and to sign up, please email thorpe.fundraising@sueryder.org, call 01733 225999 or visit www.sueryder.org/peterborough-dragon-boat-festival-2020

For more information about Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, visit www.sueryder.org/thorpehall

Photos: Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

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