Dragon boats set to race

Joanne Underwood (centre) hands a cheque to representatives of the Cransley and Lakeland Hospices
Joanne Underwood (centre) hands a cheque to representatives of the Cransley and Lakeland Hospices

A dragon boat race which last year helped raise more than £17,000 for charity – including Cransley Hospice – is to be held again at Wicksteed Park.

The annual event is now in its fourth year and is organised by a team of volunteers from a group of Rotary clubs – Rushden, Rushden Chichele, Corby Phoenix, Kettering and Kettering Huxloe.

The money raised is 
divided between Cransley Hospice, Lakelands Hospice and a number of Rotary charities.

Although the September 1 race is still some time away, organisers say teams can register their interest and, just as importantly, start training for the big day.

Joanne Underwood, from the Nene Valley Dragon Boat Race, said: “There were more than 30 teams racing last year, all competing for the coveted winner’s trophy.

“Sonifex’s Shark Bait managed to clinch the title, with I am Scout coming a close second and West Lodge’s Wural Wonders finishing in third place.”

The event was moved to Wicksteed Park last year. The first two races had been held in Oundle.

Joanne said: “Some of the teams have been with us since the first year.”

As well as racing, there will be live music, craft stalls and refreshments.

Chairman of the organising committee Alan Armson said: “A really good day was had by all, there was plenty of entertainment on and off the water and all of the teams got into the spirit of the day.”

All the boats and equipment, and a helmsman, are supplied – groups or companies wishing to take part have to have a team of 10 rowers and one drummer. Teams take part in several heats before the final.

The entry fee is £350 per team and anyone interested in entering can visit www.nenevalleydragons.org.uk or email enquiries@nenevalleydragons.org.uk.

Brass band

The award-winning Youth Brass 2000, one of the UK’s top youth brass bands, will be appearing at the London Road United Reformed Church in Kettering on Saturday, June 29, in aid of Cransley Hospice.

Tickets cost £6 and can be bought from the Cransley Hospice shop or by calling 01536 414343 or 01536 527407. There will be a tombola and refreshments.