Leeds hospice’s dragon boat challenge leads to swashbuckling boost

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Boat racing buccaneers tackled the waters of Waterloo Lake in a wet and wonderful feat of fundraising.

Scores of oarsmen and women donned fancy dress to take part in the annual Martin House Children’s Hospice Dragon Boat Challenge, in Roundhay Park, today.

Team Boughton Buccaneers, from Clipper Logistics PLC Ollerton Site.

Team Boughton Buccaneers, from Clipper Logistics PLC Ollerton Site.

The charity spectacle saw more than 400 fundraisers, from swashbuckling pirates to Nordic Vikings, take part in a fun-filled event that is thought to have raised around £30,000 for Martin House.

Hundreds of spectators lined the banks of the lake to cheer on the 30ft-long dragon boats over a 200metre course, with the Restaurant Bar and Grill Leeds team taking overall victory as well as the top fundraising prize.

Caroline Hudson, events manager at Martin House, said: “It’s a massive event for us. It’s not only the money that comes in but also the awareness and the profile it gives us in the area.

“We’ve had people stopping us asking what’s going on, who don’t know about Martin House, and the donations make a huge difference.”

Team Macca's Mussles, from Restaurant Bar and Grill, Leeds.

Team Macca's Mussles, from Restaurant Bar and Grill, Leeds.

Among the entrants in this year’s race were Leeds-based digital marketing agency Stickyeyes, who donned fancy dress inspired by the Little Mermaid film,. Meanwhile Team Black Magic from Blacks Solicitors LLP dressed as superheroes, Team Jorvik from First Bus dressed as Vikings and Team Pretty Polly and the Pirates from First Direct dressed as pirates.

More than 20 teams took part representing businesses and organisations from across Yorkshire including sponsors First Group and Unite.

Ms Hudson added: “It costs £4.9million to run the hospice every year and money from events like this all adds to our total and purpose of supporting all the families we are currently looking after.”

Martin House Children’s Hospice supports more than 450 children and young people with life-limiting illnesses every year. Visit www.martinhouse.org.uk for information or to donate.

Team Black Magic, from Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Team Black Magic, from Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Team Jorvik, from First Bus.

Team Jorvik, from First Bus.

Team Pretty Polly and the Pirates, from First Direct.

Team Pretty Polly and the Pirates, from First Direct.

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