A wet and rainy Good Friday. Not exactly the ideal setting for a large-scale outdoor charity event, but perfect weather for ducks! And so it was, Manchester hosted its sixth duck race in support of children’s charity Brainwave. The national charity, which has a base in Warrington, supports children affected by a range of developmental challenges including cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome and autism.
The race, which is now a permanent fixture in the city’s charity calendar took place at Leftbank Spinningfields and was compered by Rowetta of Happy Mondays fame. As always, it consisted of two races: a corporate competition followed by a larger dash to the finish line where members of the public were invited to sponsor a duck for a pound.
As in previous years, the corporate race was hotly contested, not only for the race itself, but for the much coveted dressage heat! Companies from all over the capital of the North showed off their artistic flair in dressing up their corporate ducks, before placing them before a ruthless panel of judges. And what a fantastic competition it was, with some marketing departments really showing off their creative skills.
Top entrants included ANS Group’s Avatar duck as well as Blaze Marketing’s ingenious homage to the ‘Dark Knight’ with their brilliant Batduck who was joined by arch nemesis, the Joker.
Overcast skies and persistent Mancunian drizzle failed to keep the crowds away and thousands lined the banks of the Irwell to cheer on their waddling heros. With so many other activities besides, families were kept entertained throughout and enjoyed an entertaining afternoon out for a worthy cause.
Last year, over £20,000 was raised and the target was even higher for this particular duck race. Bydand was keen to sponsor its own duck and play a part in the day’s proceedings as the charity’s work is close to the heart of Director, Tony Seymour. Tony, who has had mild cerebral palsy from birth is only too aware of the importance of organisations such as Brainwave on people’s lives.
“Charities such as Brainwave do a tremendous job” commented Tony, “not just for the kids themselves but also for their families. Having a child with a disability can be tough at times and the people who work at these places help to support and encourage.”
Asked why he had entered the corporate race, he said, “The corporate competition is really good fun but it is also a chance for local businesses to support a local organisation and take part in something that has a direct positive impact on people’s lives.”
All in all it was a fantastic afternoon, with plenty to keep everyone entertained. Well done if you did take part and we hope to see you all again next year.