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Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity

Dragon Boat event raises tens of thousands for Manchester Hospitals

Dragon Boat Hospitals event
Thursday 18th May 2023

SUNSHINE and sequins were the order of the day at Sale Water Park as hundreds of rowers and spectators gathered for the second annual Manchester Charity Dragon Boat Challenge.

The event, which took place on Sunday, 14th May, saw 42 teams taking part, including 18 boats raising money for Manchester Foundation Trust Charity – the organisation which fundraises for 10 Manchester hospitals, including Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Wythenshawe Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Many of the hospitals entered teams into the contest, including the “The Play Team” from the children’s hospital, “Blazing Paddles” the trust’s Research and Innovation team and “The Proud Mary’s” from Wythenshawe Hospital. Corporate supporters also joined in the fun including “Zouk Dragons” from Zouk Tea Bar & Grill and “Aquaholics” from Peninsula Group.

But arguably the best-dressed for the event were the Drag Queens from Manchester’s Gay Village, who aptly named their team “Drag-On Boaters”. Decked out in sparkly dresses and incredible wigs, they were a sight to behold. But negotiating with high heels on grassy banks was all worth it for the team, who were raising money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Manchester Foundation Trust Charity’s Senior Events Manager Viv Williamson said: “The Drag Queens were so good at entertaining everyone. They’d all been up the night before for Eurovision events and then they turned up to Dragon Boat full of energy and making everyone laugh doing little rowing warm-ups and entertaining the crowd.

“We also had corporate teams and rowers from our hospitals and they were all so enthusiastic. Everyone was really supportive of everyone else so it was a really great atmosphere. At our tent we also put on a ‘guess the dragon’s name’ competition and had face painting too.

“Last year the Drag Queens did a ‘dragseil’ as part of our Abseil event. And now they’ve done the Dragon Boat. I’ve promised them next year we’ll find something a bit calmer for them to do!”

Manchester Charity Dragon Boat Challenge 2023

While many of the team JustGiving Pages are still accepting donations, it’s hoped the event has raised more than £25,000 for the Charity. Corporate partners Peninsula Group will also be match-funding the event, which means the final total will be doubled.

Early bird sign up is now open for next year’s event. Visit our Dragon Boat event page to secure your place. You can also view our gallery of photos here.

A big 'thank you' to all our teams who took part! If you'd like to donate to their fundraising pages, please visit the organiser's website for a full list of team names and links.

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