St George’s Day marks the anniversary of St George becoming the patron saint of England in 1348. Legend has it that in the days of chivalry and valour, St George arrived on his white stallion and battled the dragon with his sword to save the princess who had been offered as a sacrifice. Hot on the heels of St George, dragon-inspired legend of a different kind comes to Milton Keynes on Sunday 21st June! And, just as St George slayed the dragon with his sword, you can slay dragons with paddles at the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival!
One of the entrants set to do dragon-battle this year is Technip. They are a global engineering and construction company for the oil and gas industry with around 400 staff based at Witan Gate, Milton Keynes. We caught up with Daniel Weeks (Principal Materials Engineer) to find out what the company hopes to achieve from their entry this year; “We have re-entered this year because last year was so much fun! We found the dragon boat festival to be an incredible opportunity to bring together a wide range of employees from many disciplines, raising money in the process. We’re happy that our gazebo will once again be out in public raising awareness of who we are and we’re hoping that our Director of Business Development will once again wield his flipper and tongs to cook hundreds of sausages and burgers to keep our team and army of supporters well fed! We will be raising money for Age UK Milton Keynes. As a global company, Technip encourages each office to raise money for charities local to them. Age UK Milton Keynes provides a fantastic service which is dearly needed in our community.”
Entrants so far…
With teams coming from all corners of the region and representing so many different industries, the inter-company rivalry is definitely building! To date companies opting for the enhanced Gold and Silver entry packages which include marketing benefits as well as a significant donation to Festival charity, Age UK Milton Keynes include; Fossil Group UK, EDW Technology Ltd, Calverton Finance Ltd, Makita (UK) Ltd, Computacenter and SMC Pneumatics (U.K.) Limited. As a Gold entry SMC Pneumatics will benefit from their company logo on one of the dragon boats, a crew gazebo, a £750 donation to Age UK Milton Keynes, an advert in the souvenir programme and acknowledgement in the Festival commentary. Bob Hitner (Marketing Manager) comments, “We are hoping this fun event will help to bring colleagues together that probably wouldn't have anything to do with each other in a typical working day. On the day of the event we will also be encouraging our employees to come to Willen Lake to help support the team and the event. We will be promoting this event throughout the company over the coming weeks and months and as a part of this we will be looking to increase the donation to Age UK Milton Keynes from the £750 we have already contributed as part of the Gold package.”
Other festival entrants so far include; Families United Network, Mirus IT, Hewitsons Solicitors, Puratos Ltd, White Clarke Group, Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd (4 teams!), Kuehne + Nagel (2 teams), Choice Support, Technip E & C Ltd, SHI International, Energy Global Brand Management, Form IT Solutions, Topdrill Ltd, Schueco UK LTD, Kids Play Childcare, FibreFab Ltd, Altodigital (2 teams), Readsoft Limited, Rexam Beverage Can UK Ltd, FSG Property Services, John Lewis, Barns Hotel, Mazars, Landmark Wholesale Ltd and Knorr-Bremse RailServices (UK) Limited.
As well as ‘slaying dragons’ and raising vital funds for Age UK Milton Keynes, you can enjoy the variety of bankside entertainment on offer such as funfair rides, children’s activities, food stalls and a bar. This year teams and spectators will also be able to enjoy a spectacular memorial flypast from a Spitfire! The Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries during and after the Second World War. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft.