- by Shaun Durham, Crisp Professional Development
We were made aware of the Dragon Boat event through our association with Devon Air Ambulance as Crisp Professional Development’s Charity of the Year. With a plethora of events, and plenty of worthy charities to support, making the choice to commit to an event needs careful consideration. In the case of the Dragon Boat event the decision was an easy one as it ticked a number of boxes, namely: it was based in Exeter with other local businesses, costs of participation were realistic, it required physical exercise and involved the whole team. The last point was crucial, as we were able to involve clients and suppliers alongside our employees.
The build up to the event generated a tremendous amount of buzz in the office as people compared their sponsorship successes. It created a story that we were able to share with our partners. We engaged in good natured banter on social media and at networking events as challenges were offered and accepted. The race, as they say, was on.
On the day we all congregated on Exeter Quay. The crew of 'How to Train Your Dragon' resplendent in matching bandanas. We mingled with the other competitors (and watched in horror as one crew embarked on a five minute warm up routine) until the safety briefing and instructions. Then we were off. Sixteen of us lining up against another crew. I’d like to say we had a dry run, but due to the inefficiency of our technique, we were soaked after the paddle up river to the start line.
The race itself was 76 seconds of frantic paddling. With Holly pounding the drums and shouting instructions, we sloshed our way through the water to victory...and it didn’t stop there, amazingly we found ourselves in the final which, after a photo finish, we won by the narrowest of margins!
The organisers were fun, engaging and – chiefly – organised. The event ran like clockwork and the support and atmosphere on the quay was really quite amazing!
Our team and partners still talk about the day. It was a fantastic event for team building and generating conversations - having the trophy on display is a real talking point. We gained so much from being involved with the event, aside from the positive contribution to Devon Air Ambulance, that we can’t wait to defend our title this year!