Staff at Pennine Telecom are getting themselves all ship-shape as they prepare to take on a charity challenge in aid of Bury Hospice.
A team of 18 staff led by account manager Nick Simister is set to take part in the Salford Dragon Boat Festival and raise funds for the cash-strapped palliative care facility. The “Pennine Pirates” will compete in three races in a bid to reach the Grand Final of the event which takes place at Salford Quays on Sunday 31st May.
Originating from China and still very much celebrated in many communities in East Asia, dragon boat racing sees teams paddling traditional longboats to the pulse set by a drummer who stands at the rear of the craft.
Thankfully lack of sailing experience is no hindrance to novices as dragon boating is said to be easy and quick to pick up. This was good news to Cap’n Nick who admits a previous attempt at sailing didn’t go quite according to plan.
“I’ve sailed once, off the coast of Tenerife, and I was violently sick,” he reports. “However I’m expecting the Salford Quays waters to be a little more forgiving than the Atlantic. I hope so anyway.”
His selection as captain may then seem strange although, as he explains, other factors were at work: “I wanted to be the drummer, that was the beginning and end of why I became captain. I was certainly not selected on merit,” he joked. “At the end of the day it looks like it will be great fun and we’ll be raising much needed funds for a great cause, Bury Hospice.”
The Pennine Pirates hope to raise £1,000 for the hospice which Pennine Telecom has long supported through fundraising and sponsorship activities. The team is collecting donations via its charity page at www.justgiving.com/pennine-pirates.