Paddles At The Ready!

The annual Dragonboat Festival will be returning to Brindleyplace for its 13th year this summer in a bid to find out which local business can face the elements and be crowned winner of the popular charity race.

Taking place on Saturday 16th June on Birmingham’s Fazeley Canal, 22 teams from the city’s business community will compete against each other in traditional 40 ft long Chinese dragonboats. The teams will be pitching their rowing skills on a course that runs from Pitcher and Piano at The Water’s Edge in Brindleyplace to the finishing post at the NIA.

All in aid of a good cause, the high-speed competition will raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital cancer unit to help mark the hospital’s 150th anniversary. Last year’s event, which supported the Children’s Hospital End of Life Care Team, raised a total of £38,000.

Kate Fittall, Destination Marketing Manager, GVA said: “The Dragonboat Festival is always a huge highlight of the year at Brindleyplace. Last year was a roaring success and probably our best event yet, raising a significant sum of money which really has made all the difference to patients at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“Not only is it a great day for the competitors but having the public squares at Brindleyplace filled with traditional Chinese Lion Dancers, home-made craft markets, live music and street entertainers means it is a fantastic family event – we even have a few treats in store for the kids too!”

Sponsored for the second year by Deutsche Bank, the majority of teams have now been filled, with competitors including last year’s winner, West Midlands Fire Service and the best fancy dress winner, No. 5 Chambers.

Kate continues: “It is brilliant news that Deutsche Bank is going to sponsor the event for at least another five years. Seeing the business community rally around such a great fundraising event at Brindleyplace is incredibly rewarding and I hope as many people as possible come along this year to help smash last year’s figure!”

Each team is expected to raise at least £1500 with all funds going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s cancer unit. Alongside the popular race on the canal, the festival offers a fun packed day out for the whole family including arts and activity stalls and an event hosted courtesy of brmb (soon to be Free Radio).

Shahaji Begum, Business Development Consultant for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be part of the festival for the 3rd year running especially in our special birthday year. Last year was such a brilliant day with over 3000 spectators joining in the fun. It is wonderful that such a fantastic family-orientated day can make a really positive impact to children at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We can’t wait for it all to begin!”

To compete, each team needs 12 rowers and one drummer. The race will consist of three heats, and team prizes will be awarded to the winner and runner up, alongside prizes for the best team fancy dress. Racing will start at 9.30am and continue to 3pm, followed by a prize giving ceremony in Central Square at Brindleyplace. Please note, places will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to register a team.

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