Places up for grabs in 2011 Leeds Dragon Boat Race

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COMMUNITY groups can enter the annual Dragon Boat Race for free this year.

A place on one of two boats is available thanks to support from Yorkshire companies Baker Tilly, Wrigleys and City Land Developments.

Leeds Community Foundation’s annual race usually costs each organisation £500 to enter but places on the community boats are free if each person raises £25 in sponsorship.

Organisers hope to raise more than £30,000 from the event for local causes.

Amanda Bennett, event organiser from Leeds Community Foundation, said: “This year we’ve been inundated with enquiries from community groups keen to take part in the Dragon Boat Race but were unable to raise £500 for the entry fee.”

The fourth annual event is set to make a splash as 30 leading organisations have already signed up.

For the first time it is being run in conjunction with Leeds Waterfront Festival, which will feature live music from local bands, arts, dance, boat trips and barbecues across waterfront venues in Granary Wharf, Brewery Wharf, Clarence Dock and Thwaite Mills Watermill.

Rachel Clunas, Aire Action Leeds project officer and co-festival organiser, said: “There’s now less than a month to go until the festival weekend and things are really taking shape.

“In the build-up to it we’re asking the local community and waterfront fans to help tidy up their waterfront before the festival weekend.

“It’s a great way to meet new people, get some exercise and make a real difference to your local environment.”

The race will be held over two days from June 25 to 26, with races between 10am and 4pm.

The community boats will race on Sunday, June 26, from 10am to 2pm.

For information about the race and how to get a place on one of the boats, contact Maxine Woods at Voluntary Action Leeds on (0113) 2977925.

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