Roaring Dragon Success

Roaring Dragon Success

Almost 200 competitors paddled across Goldsworth Park Lake and raised in excess of £10,000 so far for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices at our inaugural Dragon Boat Challenge. Eleven teams representing the local police, schools, churches and businesses competed against each other in colourful long boats, and plenty of sunshine and local support meant the day was a roaring success.

“I’ve never done Dragon Boat racing before and have always thought it looks like great fun. So after completing the London Marathon for Sam Beare this seemed like a great next challenge, especially because it meant I could rope in another 19 people, and with a BBQ and Beer tent on offer it wasn’t hard to convince my friends and family to join in!,” explained Natalie Dilloway from team Rockin’ Dave. Her father, after whom the team was named, was admitted to the Hospice in 2011, so this was her way of thanking the staff for their wonderful care. “They made a truly horrendous time a bit more bearable, and for that my family will always be grateful, and we’re committed to raising as much money as possible to say thank you and also to help others.”

True to tradition the event started with an awakening ceremony for good luck, where Finance Director Tony Cornwell dotted the eyes of the Dragon Boats, and members of the Chinese School of Woking performed a spectacular Lion Dance. Then the teams took to the water and raced against each other and the clock. The winner was the Mayford Arms Team, followed by Natalie’s ‘Rocking Dave’s Crew’. In third place came the local Police team, who also won the fancy dress competition, and were rewarded with a fantastic dragon boat cake.

Head of Community Fundraising Rosie Gibbons was delighted with the support for this great new event and thanked all the teams and spectators who came along. As the event organiser she is already looking forward to next year’s Dragon Boat Challenge. Because it was such a great team building experience several of the corporate teams, including Mustang, Barclays Bank and the Mayford Arms Pub, have already said they’ll be back, so we hope to get a date in the diary as soon as possible.

Should you be interested in taking part in next year’s event please contact the Community Fundraising Team on 01483 881752 or send an email here.

You can see all the fabulous photos from the event on our Facebook page.

View our highlights video from the day here.