QD takes to the water as local businesses sign up for the East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival

East Anglian discount retailer QD – QualityDiscounts.com is looking forward to swapping great prices for paddles as one of the first teams to sign up for this year’s East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival

Taking place on Saturday 31st August at Oulton Broad in Lowestoft, the Dragon Boat Festival will see more than 30 teams competing over a 200 metre race course, all hoping to paddle their 30 foot Chinese dragon boat to victory.

QD’s team – named Quality Drenchers – comprises staff from QD’s stores in Lowestoft and Beccles and the South View Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Fritton, as well as the Group’s head office. The team of 11, none of whom have any boat racing experience, are rising to the challenge to raise funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH), which has been QD’s chosen charity for the past four years. QD has raised more than £101,000 to date towards EACH’s nook appeal.

Carla Riches, store manager of QD Lowestoft, said: “This is our first time taking part in the Dragon Boat Festival. As a local retailer, we’re keen to get involved with local community events such as this and we’re delighted to be able to raise funds for our chosen charity at the same time. None of our team have competed in an event like this before so all 11 of us are in the same boat, literally! It’s going to be a great day and we’re looking forward to putting our oar-some new paddling skills to the test.”

The original concept of QD’s quality discounted retailing was first established back in 1985 by the company’s CEO Nick Rubin’s father, and current Chairman, Danny Rubins. The aim was to offer customers a wide range of constantly changing, quality products at discounted prices, which led to the stores’ name QD – short for Quality Discounts.

The QD crew will be joined on the start line in August by teams from across the East Anglian region and even further afield. Local teams, Lovewell Blake and previous champions Netmatters have already signed up alongside four teams representing race sponsor, Warner Leisure Hotels which will be made up of staff from their resorts in Lowestoft, Newark and North Wales.

To take part in the dragon boat racing, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. There will also be a variety of bankside entertainment to enjoy such as funfair rides, children’s activities and food stalls.

For further information and an entry form, visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia  or call Festival organisers Gable Events on 01780 470718. For information about Warner Leisure Hotels, visit www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk or call 01442 863245.

Dragon Boat Challenge is back!

The Construction Industry Dragon Boat Challenge is back!

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, entries are now open for ‘The Construction Industry Dragon Boat Challenge, in aid of CRASH charity’ – one of the biggest events for the construction industry, organised by Gable Events and sponsored by Building Magazine.

Taking place on the afternoon of Thursday 20th June at West Reservoir, London, N4 2HA this year’s race will welcome 40 teams from across the industry in a battle to be crowned ‘The Construction Industry Dragon Boat Champions 2019’.

Dragon boat racing is the fastest growing water activity in Britain today – as well as being the most fun. Up to 10 people paddle each boat with a drummer at the front beating time and Gable Events helm at the tail steering a straight course. No previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit.

Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history dating back 2,000 years and according to the Chinese calendar, 2019 is the year of the Pig. People born in this year are believed to be energetic, enthusiastic and blessed with good fortune – all important qualities for achieving dragon boat success in June!

This action-filled afternoon is an unmissable opportunity for team-building, whether you’re welcoming new employees or thanking your team and key clients. Taking part will give your company a unique opportunity to challenge your peers on the water, build relationships and build your network whilst supporting your industry charity.

Kate Marsh, Senior Partnership Manager at CRASH charity said:

‘‘Last year’s 20th anniversary event raised over £24,000 for CRASH to help homelessness charities and hospices with life-changing building projects, creating places that care for people when they are most in need.’’

‘‘Your support enabled CRASH to help Winchester Churches Nightshelter refurbish their new move-on accommodation ‘Ben’s House,’ providing four homeless people with a much-needed home after their stay at the Nightshelter.’’

‘‘It also enabled CRASH to help Halton Haven Hospice install a new roof on their conservatory, meaning people with life-limiting illnesses can now enjoy special time with their family and friends, out of their bed and away from their room.’’

Places have already been snapped up for 2019 by companies not wanting to miss out; join Building, Balfour Beatty, Currie & Brown and reigning champions Morgan Sindall, hoping to hang on to the much-coveted crown for the third year.

Hundreds of companies have already discovered the sport’s team building benefits and raised much-needed funds for CRASH so why not be part of it? With bankside entertainment and hospitality, a fabulous day-out is guaranteed.

To secure your team’s place and for further event details, please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/building or call 01780 470718. For further information on CRASH’s vital work and how you can help please visit www.crash.org.uk

CRASH would like to thank the event organisers Gable Events and sponsors Building Magazine for their continued generosity and support of CRASH charity.

Here come the dragons!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Gable Events and Warner Leisure Hotels are celebrating Chinese New Year by inviting entries into the 13th East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival. This popular annual event returns to Oulton Broad in Lowestoft on Saturday 31st August and more than 30 crews are expected to battle it out in 30’ brightly painted Chinese dragon boats over the 200m race course, watched by a large audience of spectators.

An ancient Chinese history
Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history, dating back 2,000 years to the Kingdom of Chu, where local fishermen used their paddles to stave off vicious fish in a valiant attempt to save drowning warrior poet Qu Yuan. Their efforts failed and in Hong Kong a Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng) is held annually as a re-enactment of this tragic event.

Year of the Pig
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the year of the Pig. People born in this year are believed to be energetic, enthusiastic and blessed with good fortune – all important qualities for achieving dragon boat success in August!

Team building and fun for all
This spectacular team event takes place at Oulton Broad, Lowestoft on Saturday 31st August and is open to everyone. Each crew comprises up to 10 paddlers, a beating drummer at the front of the boat and a steering helm (provided by organisers, Gable Events) at the tail end. The dragon boats and all racing equipment are provided, each team receives three races and no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit! The Festival promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike, with catering and bankside entertainment for all the family between races.

A great fundraising opportunity
The Dragon Boat Festival offers an excellent opportunity to raise money for good causes and teams are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the charity of their own choosing. Crews opting for the popular gold and silver entry packages, which include a charity donation as well as marketing benefits, can also nominate their favourite charity to benefit from their donation.

Festival sponsor
The 2019 East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival again has the backing of title sponsor, Warner Leisure Hotels which offers holidays for adults in 14 country and coastal properties around the UK. Their two Suffolk properties, Gunton Hall and Corton Coastal Village, have been entering teams into the Dragon Boat Festival for several years and are looking forward to renewing their rivalry on 31st August alongside two new crews representing their hotels in Newark and North Wales!

Ian Gyte, Warner Leisure Hotels Operations Director, comments, “The Warner teams will again be raising vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and the friendly competitiveness has already kicked in! Our Macmillan partnership has been incredibly successful and we have surpassed our fundraising targets. Taking part in challenges like the Dragon Boat Festival ensures our team work together to raise further vital funds. Our guests are brilliant and are always keen on supporting and getting involved in fundraising challenges. I’m certain that it will be another great day for everyone involved and we are thrilled to have four Warner teams entered and be the event sponsor”

How to join in
For further information and an entry form please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/eastanglia or call Gable Events on 01780 470718. For information about Warner Leisure Hotels, visit www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk or call 01442 863245.

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

The Dragon Boat Festival celebrates Chinese New Year

Gable Events and MacIntyre are celebrating Chinese New Year by inviting entries into the 18th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival. This popular annual event returns to Willen Lake in Milton Keynes on Sunday 23rd June and up to 50 crews are expected to battle it out in 40’ brightly painted Chinese dragon boats over the 200m race course, watched by several thousand spectators.

An ancient Chinese history
Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history, dating back 2,000 years to the Kingdom of Chu, where local fishermen used their paddles to stave off vicious fish in a valiant attempt to save drowning warrior poet Qu Yuan. Their efforts failed and in Hong Kong a Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng) is held annually as a re-enactment of this tragic event.

Year of the Pig
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the year of the Pig. People born in this year are believed to be energetic, enthusiastic and blessed with good fortune – all important qualities for achieving dragon boat success in June!

Team building and fun for all
This spectacular team event takes place at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes on Sunday 23rd June and is open to everyone. Each crew comprises up to 16 paddlers, a beating drummer at the front of the boat and a steering helm (provided by organisers, Gable Events) at the tail end. The dragon boats and all racing equipment are provided, each team receives three races and no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit! The Festival promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike, with catering and bankside entertainment for all the family between races.

A great fundraising opportunity
The Dragon Boat Festival offers an excellent opportunity to raise money for MacIntyre, a national charity based in Milton Keynes that supports over 1,200 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism. For crews opting for the popular gold and silver entry packages, a significant donation to MacIntyre is included in the entry fee alongside marketing benefits such as the company logo on the sides of a dragon boat. The crew raising the most money for MacIntyre will receive a special prize meal at the acclaimed Melis Restaurant, sponsored by Merinvest – a great incentive!

Festival charity – MacIntyre
Head of Fundraising, Claire Kennedy comments, “MacIntyre is delighted to be the official charity for the 2019 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival. Financial constraints in the social care sector mean that income we receive from fundraising is more important than ever. We use fundraised income to buy the extras that make a real and tangible difference to the people we support. Every penny received will go directly to benefit the people we support; nothing is deducted for administrative costs.”

How to join in
For further information and an entry form please visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call Gable Events on 01780 470718. For information about MacIntyre, visit www.macintyrecharity.org or call 01908 230100