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Ipswich charity needs you for Waterfront dragon boat racing challenge

PUBLISHED: 06:34 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 06:34 16 February 2018

The Fresh Start Charity Dragon Boat Challenge will be held at Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: RACETHEDRAGON.COM

The Fresh Start Charity Dragon Boat Challenge will be held at Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: RACETHEDRAGON.COM

Dragon boat racing is set to make a return to Ipswich Waterfront – and it’s all for a good cause.

Bright skies over Ipswich's Waterfront. Picture: DAVID VINCENT Bright skies over Ipswich's Waterfront. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Fresh Start – new beginnings (FSNB) is celebrating Chinese New Year by launching The Fresh Start Charity Dragon Boat Challenge.

The new fundraising event will be held on Saturday, June 2 at Ipswich Waterfront and businesses, clubs and groups can all take part.

Patsy Johnson-Cisse, fundraiser for FSNB, said: “Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition and this event is great fun, good for team building, easy to learn and can be a tiny bit competitive.

“We have the EADT, Ipswich Star and BBC Radio Suffolk on board as media partners we are hoping they will get a race against each other. We already have teams pledged from AB Ports, Poundgates, Waitrose and John Lewis and a further two teams from Atwells.

“What started off as a small dragon boat race has already grown into what promises to be a great family day out in support of Fresh Start - new beginnings.”

The charity works with children who have been sexually abused, supporting them to help take away feelings of blame, shame and guilt. It also assists the child with coping strategies and helps youngsters to re-build their futures.

The dragon boat race is open to 21 teams on a first come first served basis. Each team, or crew, will be made up of 10 paddlers, plus a drummer.

Squads may be larger – up to 15 people – taking part in a minimum of three races.

Registration is £30 per person, then it is hoped each team will raise around £500 in sponsorship.

If 10 teams raise £500, it will help Fresh Start - new beginnings work with two children who are on its waiting list. If there are 20 teams taking part, that would help to support four children.

Spectators are welcome and, in between races, Ipswich Haven Marina and AB Ports will be organising activities for the crowds – including a chance to try dragon boat racing on dry land with a simulator set up.

On the day there will also be Classics on the Quay, which will see the ISMOC mini club displaying many local classic minis.

To register a team, email or call 01473 705111.

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