Image: John Hughes, JT Hughes Group, Managing Director.
For the last two years, JT Hughes Hyundai has lent its support to the Coracle World Championship as the event’s primary official sponsor. The paddling competition on the River Severn took place in September, and now all the proceeds have been added up, we are thrilled to report that a total of £31,500 has been raised for a wonderful cause – Macmillan Cancer Support.
It was the tenth annual edition of the race, in which teams row from one side of the Severn to the other, setting out from Pengwern Boat Club. At JT Hughes we are committed to supporting community events, and there are few occasions which bring Shropshire’s business community together like the Coracle World Championship. But behind the frolicking and fun which comes with rowing unstable craft across the river, is the serious motive of finding funding for Macmillan Cancer Support, for which £200,000 has been raised to date.
A JT Hughes Hyundai crew was among almost 200 competitors this year, in a line up featuring 48 teams drawn from our fellow Shropshire businesses. That represents a record turnout in the history of the event, which reached had its capacity month in advance of the event, meaning admissions had to be closed.
Our own JT Hughes Hyundai team finished in a very impressive second place, so we’d like to say a big well done to the foursome who took part. The team from Macmillan Masonry - holders of the current five minutes and twenty seconds world record - took top spot, winning for the third year running.
Local media, including the Midlands Today TV programme, were on hand to cover the event, which is becoming ever more eagerly anticipated each year. Camilla Hughes, the Coracle World Championship’s race committee secretary, explained to the Shropshire Star that this year the race didn’t go exactly as planned due to the conditions on the water: "It's like a relay, normally they row across the river but because the current is so strong and you can't get across easily they are racing down the river and running back up and swapping over.”
Despite the remodelled format, the rain stayed away for the majority of the time, meaning competitors weren’t quite as wet as they could have been!
Camilla went on to explain the prize system and give a shout out to the race’s main sponsors: "We have a cup which goes to the team which raises the most money, another cup for the winning team and medals for first, second and third and prizes for the best fancy dress. We've been sponsored by JT Hughes for two years, and this year we have charity Rapid Relief Team doing the food which is one less thing for the committee to do!”
Funds raised will be directed to the Macmillan Cancer Support infrastructure in Shropshire, meaning local people will be directly helped by the superb effort made to drum up sponsorship by all the competitors. The country currently has 39 Macmillan services posts, from therapists to GPS and Clinic Nurses Specialists, as well as Support Managers. The funding is vital to continue Macmillan training throughout these posts, supporting the 17,000 people living with cancer in Shropshire.
We are delighted that the fundraising for the Coracle World Championship went so well and are committed to continuing our sponsorship of this brilliant event, and the fantastic cause which it supports in Shropshire.
The 2018 Coracle World Championship is now accepting entries. If demand is anything like the level seen this year, applying early is strongly advised.