OSCAR: Charity dragon boat race set for September

OSCAR: Charity dragon boat race set for September

London: There’s just 10 days to go for teams from the shipping industry to sign up to what should be a fun day out on the water, dragon boating in London, this September – and all for a worthy casue.

This September 16 will see many flock to the Docklands Water Sports Centre from 3pm – 6pm to take part in the race, which is in aid of the OSCAR (Ocean and Shipping Community Advancing Children’s Health and Research) Campaign, a fundraising partnership uniting the international shipping community to raise significant funds towards areas of urgent need at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH).

The event will see teams of up to 10 members plus a drummer take to the water in a colourful Chinese dragon boat to raise vital funds towards lifesaving research into childhood cancers and immune diseases. Some 15 teams have already signed up to take part, including AET, Augustea Shipping, A.M.Nomikos, ICAP, JLT and R.S.Platou, with many more entries expected. To accompany the race, there will be a free BBQ, cash bar, a live band and the chance to network, with many supporters from the industry expected.

The campaign is the inspiration of Phil Parry, a former lawyer who is now chairman of Spinnaker Consulting. Parry’s son Oscar received life-saving care at Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was diagnosed with cancer aged three. Oscar recovered and is now 15, but his father has never forgotten the work of the famous international hospital.

The campaign initially raised an amazing £500,000 towards state-of-the-art new facilities at Great Ormond Street Hospital, creating the Sea and Oceans floor in the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building which opened in 2012. Now, on the back of that success, and inspired by the response, the campaign is aiming to raise a further £1m, and has already achieved over £880,000 towards this target, to support pioneering research.

Parry said “I am absolutely delighted with the response from the shipping industry so far, we have teams made up of shipowners, shipbrokers, insurance and law firms, P&I Clubs and flag registries. September 16th is shaping up to be a really big day and will hopefully turn into an annual event in the industry’s calendar.

“What’s great about the research we are raising funds for is that it can help make a real difference to children’s lives as my family knows only too well. If Oscar had been treated two years earlier he would not be alive today. He benefitted from receiving treatment that was in an early stage of development and has since been used to save other children’s lives.”

There is a fundraising target of £5,000 per team for the OSCAR campaign– with the team who raises the most, getting a head start in the race.

On the inspiration for dragon boating, Parry tells Maritime CEO: “GOSH is an international hospital so we wanted to do this in London to mark the one year countdown to London International Shipping Week and we wanted to do something maritime and on the water. Dragon boat racing is something that Oldendorff regularly do in Germany, its great fun and they have been big supporters of our campaign. So what better to do than copy them.”

To get involved register your mixed team of ten plus drummer by July 31 to guarantee your place, email Ellie.Notley@gosh.org  to register. [21/07/14]

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