British Paralympic Association Celebrity and Paralympian Dragon Boat Race launches Road to Beijing

As well as annual events for charities, we also arrange one-off launch events to promote specific charity projects, generate publicity and stimulate fundraising. One example of this was the ‘mile paddle’ Gable Events organised at Surrey Quays watersports centre in London for the British Paralympic Association

Thursday September 6 marked a year-to-go until the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and to coincide with this milestone a valiant group of celebrities and Paralympians took to the water at Surrey Docks Water Sports Centre in London in a special dragon boat race organised by Gable Events to race the first mile in the journey on the Road to Beijing. Paralympic bronze medallist Ade Adepitan captained one team, while former Paralympic swimming champion, Giles Long, captained the other team. TV presenters Giles Vickers-Jones and Penny Mallory, Apprentice 2007 star Naomi Lay, former Gladiator James Crossley, aka Hunter, The Bill actress Trudie Goodwin and young explorer Jake Meyer were joined by athletes, Paralympic supporters and ParalympicsGB staff to battle it out on the waters of Surrey Docks.

Despite a close race – started by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell – Giles’ team were eventually triumphant and were presented with their medals by Lord Sebastian Coe after the race before the first mile to Beijing was officially plotted on the British Paralympic Association map. Following the launch event, the British Paralympic Association invited individuals to complete their own sponsored mile (the wackier the better) which was then added to the map plotting the road to Beijing so that everyone could feel the honour of being part of the team. There were tons of ideas for earning a mile from rowing, swimming or cycling a mile to space hopping, abseiling or knitting a mile!