The date is set for an ‘oarsome’ city fundraiser

GET SET: The 2016 Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge will take place on Saturday, July 9.
GET SET: The 2016 Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge will take place on Saturday, July 9.

The date has been set for this year’s Dragon Boat Challenge.

Oarsmen and women will take up the charity challenge at Pugneys on Saturday, July 9 in the eighth running of the highly successful Rotary race.

This year up to 40 teams will compete for the Stuart Wardell Memorial Trophy in honour of a former organiser who died last year.

Lead organiser Bob Guard, of Wakefield Chantry Rotary Club, said: “This is a brand new trophy to replace the previous one, which has been bought specifically in honour of Stuart as he passed away no more than a month after last year’s race.

The 2015 race raised nearly £40,000 for many charities, taking the combined total over the last seven years to nearly £200,000.

Organisers, The Rotary Clubs of Wakefield Chantry and Huddersfield, are confident of adding to its success.

Mr Guard said: “Wakefield Council are also putting their weight behind the event with help in promoting and supporting the day’s activities. The new Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield, Coun Harry Ellis and Janet Ellis, who take over on May 19, will be there to support it together with the Rotary District Governor for Yorkshire, Phil Poole.”

A team needs to be around 20 people with 16 paddlers in a boat plus a drummer to keep time. Entries have already begun to come in for the race this summer.

Chairman of the organising committee Mr Guard said: “No experience is needed to take part, just a lot of enthusiasm and a desire to raise money for charity to help those who are less fortunate.

“The racing and fun will be enjoyed by all those who turn up to participate, support or just spectate. Don’t forget mark July 9 in your diaries.”

See www.rotarydragonboatchallenge.org or email rguard@hinari.com for an entry form.