Olympic gymnast Louis Smith MBE is set to appear at this weekend’s launch of Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival after pledging to climb aboard.

The bronze and silver medallist will swap the pommel for a paddle to pose in an authentic Chinese dragon boat alongside the crew from event sponsors Motorpoint Peterborough. As well as being the official sponsor, Motorpoint Peterborough was among the first crews to sign up to the event being held on Saturday June 9 at Peterborough Rowing Lake. It’s hoped up to 50 more teams will challenge them on the water.


ESP’s Motley Crew will certainly be taking them on and doing battle on the lake as we are the print media partners for the second year running and can’t wait to take part.

For the fourth year running event organisers Gable Events have joined forces with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. And in the Festival’s 20th anniversary year it’s hoped the crews taking part will, together, help to raise £20,000 for the Hospice which could fund a hospice nurse for more than six months.


This weekend’s launch (Friday January 26 – Sunday January 28) will see a dragon boat on display at the car supermarket in Edgerley Drain Road, Peterborough (PE1 5NL) alongside more than 500 nearly new cars for sale. Customers will be invited to sit on board, bang the drum and sign up to take part in the event.


Tom Stanton, general manager of Motorpoint Peterborough said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the 20th Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival and can’t wait to take to the water on June 9 to raise as much money as possible for our charity partner, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.”

Thorpe Hall Hospice community fundraiser Nilesh Patel said: “We are delighted to be the charity partner of the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival for the fourth year running, particularly as the event is celebrating its 20th anniversary year.

“We have been working closely with Motorpoint Peterborough over the previous few months and to have their sponsorship is a huge boost for us, perfectly kick starting fundraising towards our £20,000 target.”

Money raised at the Festival for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice will help provide care and support for hospice patients and their families at the most difficult time of their lives.

The Festival is being supported by media partners ESP and ConnectFM.

For more details and to sign up visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough

Photos: Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

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