Dragon boats take to water to aid hospice

Fundraisers can enjoy fast and furious paddling action at Roundhay Park this weekend as Martin House Children’s Hospice stages its popular Leeds Dragon Boat Race on Sunday.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:10 am
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:11 am

A total of 36 teams will take to Waterloo Lake on Sunday September 26 to compete for the title of Leeds Dragon Boat Race champions.

Maddie Bentley, senior event fundraiser at Martin House, said: “This is our biggest event of 2021, and we can’t wait to welcome our teams back to Roundhay Park.

“It’s such an amazing day for everyone taking part, and it’s also great entertainment for spectators.”

Teams of 10, plus a drummer to keep time, will paddle in a series of heats, culminating in a knock out to reach the final.

To add to the spectacle, teams are encouraged to dress up, and as well as the top prize, there are awards for the best dressed team, and the top fundraisers.

In addition, there will be a funfair and food stalls to entertain spectators throughout the day.

Martin House cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across West, North and East Yorkshire. Its care includes respite stays, symptom control, end of life care and bereavement support for families.

Maddie added: “All of our teams have worked really hard to raise money to support the hospice.

“It costs nearly £9 million a year to run Martin House, and nearly 90 per cent of that comes from fundraising and donations, so it’s really fantastic that we’re able to stage it again this year.”

The first race starts at about 10am, with heats taking place throughout the day. The final is due to happen around 4pm, followed by the awards presentation. There is also additional parking at Soldiers’ Field for spectators and participants.

To find out more, visit www.martinhouse.org.uk/dragonboatrace.

Martin House is also calling for volunteers for bucket collections at Morrisons stores across the region from Friday October 1 to Sunday October 3.

Register interest at: www.martinhouse.org.uk/MorrisonsCollections