Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Viking long boats on the river Lagan

Anna Delbart (left), Sean Keogh (Ardglass Vikings Association) and Karen Walker

One of south Belfast's best supported annual fundraising events is once again challenging the public to become daring masters of the river Lagan.

Celebrating its tenth birthday this year, organisers of the NSPPC Viking Boat Races are encouraging as many people as possible to join them for a bit of messing about on the river.

For the past nine years, hundreds of people have invaded the Lagan in Viking long boats to test their strength, speed and endurance.

And at the same time they've made a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people in Northern Ireland by raising over £80,000 for the ChildLine charity.

This year is no exception as the organisers of the Races, sponsored by Cutters Wharf and Corona Extra, begin to recruit teams of Viking wannabes.

All money raised from the event will go towards the NSPCC’s ChildLine service which young people can access around the clock.

Karen Walker, NSPCC community fundraising manager, said it was a great excuse for people to get together at the May bank holiday weekend and raise vital funds for charity.

“Participants get the chance to dress up in Viking costume or fancy dress with a prize going towards the team with the most creative costume,” she explained.

“The event always promises to be an exciting day out for all those involved, with entertainment and a feast provided for the Vikings

and their supporters. Money raised through events like the Viking Boat Races help to ensure no child’s cry for help goes unheard.”

Local competitor, Anna Delbart, has been supporting the fundraiser for the past five years.

“I love taking part in the Viking Boat Races and being involved in an event that raises money for such a worthwhile charity,” she said.

“It gets better every year and I am really looking forward to being part of a team in this year’s tenth birthday celebration.”

To find out how to enter the race, contact the NSPCC fundraising team on 9035 7970 or email northernirelandappeals@nspcc.org.uk.

The Vikings will take to the water at 12pm on Sunday, May 2, at Cutters Wharf.

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