Birmingham based businesses battle at Brindleyplace’s Dragonboat Festival

Posted by Dave Massey @brumhour

Adrian Chiles, Broadcaster and Cure Leukaemia Patron, heads to Brindleyplace this Saturday 30th May to cheer on Deutsche Bank, KPMG, Barclays, Network Rail, Matalan and other local businesses as they take part in the estate’s annual Dragonboat Festival.

Adrian Chiles
Adrian Chiles

Adrian, who grew up in nearby Hagley, will hold a meet and greet with participants and event attendees, to help mark the 16th anniversary of the Dragonboat Festival and the 20th anniversary of Brindleyplace.

Teams this year include ‘Usain Boat’, ‘Millennium Marauders’, ‘Hong Kong Foodie’ and ‘Hogwart’s Express’, all of whom will be dressed in elaborate costumes and will battle it out against each other along the Birmingham and Worcester canal in traditional 40ft long Chinese dragonboats (from Pitcher and Piano to the Barclaycard Arena).

As one of Birmingham’s most established annual corporate fundraising events, the Dragonboat Festival is sponsored by Deutsche Bank for the fifth year running and, this year, Brindleyplace is hoping to raise £100,000 for Birmingham-based blood cancer charity, Cure Leukaemia. Over the past16 years, the event has raised over £350,000 for local charities in Birmingham.

Dragonboat Team
Dragonboat Team

Starting at 10am, there will also be a host of family-friendly activities taking place in Central Square and Oozells Square, including crazy golf, a bouncy castle and themed entertainment comprising of Chinese dragon dancers and a fire-breathing performer, as well as a craft and food market held in association with Sketts. Cure Leukaemia will also be offering a chance for visitors to win a Maserati for a weekend, courtesy of Sytner and its Graypaul Maserati Birmingham dealership.

Families and supporters of the teams will also be able to watch a live stream of the race from Central Square in Cure Leukaemia’s Fan Zone, thanks to its digital media partner Elonex Outdoor Media.

Alison McKenna, Senior Marketing Executive at Brindleyplace, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response, with so many businesses in Birmingham all wanting to take part in this year’s Dragonboat Festival. To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brindleyplace, each team are expected to dress up as something that represented a particular year between 1996 and 2015. Looking at the submitted team names, we can’t wait to see what everyone comes dressed as!

“The Dragonboat Festival is one of our longest-running community events held at Brindleyplace and it’s wonderful to see the continued support of families, friends and the general public. I’d encourage everyone to come out and show their support, whatever the weather, and help raise a record amount for Cure Leukaemia.”

Businesses taking part in this year’s Dragonboat Festival are: Deutsche Bank, KPMG, Barclays, Network Rail, Matalan, Hines, Pertemps, OGL, Bilfinger GVA, UHY Accountants, Cure Leukaemia, Elonex Outdoor Media, Action Coach, Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Bilfinger Europa.

Teams entered in the race are made up of 10 paddlers and one drummer and will compete, in a series of heats, to win one of the many prizes on offer for the winning team, highest fundraiser, best fancy dress and top team name. The losing team can also expect to take home the ‘Paddle of Pity’.

Dragonboat 2015
The Dragonboat launch earlier in 2015

The prizes include a corporate box at the Barclaycard Arena courtesy of Elonex Outdoor Media, tickets to the Ashes at Edgbaston and team meals at both ‘Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen’ and Brindleyplace based restaurant Piccolino.

To support the many businesses taking part in the Dragonboat Festival and to help raise money for Cure Leukaemia, visit to donate. During the Dragonboat

Festival, visitors are encouraged to tweet using the official event hashtag #BpDragon2015.

About Cure Leukaemia:

Founded in 2003 by Professor Charlie Craddock, Cure Leukaemia helps to bring pioneering drug and transplant treatments to blood cancer patients throughout the Midlands. In 2014 the charity launched the “Birmingham, let’s cure leukaemia” campaign in collaboration with the University of Birmingham which aims to help the city find a cure for all blood cancers within the next thirty years.