The Europe Corporate Cup programme came to a spectacular conclusion on Saturday with visitors from far and wide heralding the events as a wonderful success. The players played, the paddlers paddled and the sun shone brightly on all of the friends, families and supporters throughout the day!
With the City of Stoke on Trent celebrating its status as European City of Sport 2016, competitors came from far and wide to participate in the Europe Corporate Cup’s of Netball and Dragonboat Racing.
The Dragonboat Racing honours were won exclusively by teams from outside of the County with National Grid taking First place, QVC from Merseyside taking second and UClan from Preston securing 3rd. That said the Pirates from Portmeirion and Team Open also won a few hearts!
Teams registered at the impressive Cadwaladers Cafe in Trentham Gardens on Saturday morning before making their way to the beautiful Trentham Lake for the Dragonboat Racing or the expansive Fenton Manor for the netball.
Councillor Terry Follows, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at the city council, said: “We’re very pleased the organisers have decided to bring these events to our city. The Corporate Games last year were a huge success and left people in no doubt not only of our ability to stage high-profile events, but also the quality of sporting facilities we have to offer. This is another example of how being the UK’s European City of Sport is raising our profile and helping us to attract events like these, which might not have come here in the past. The influx of visitors which these events will bring gives a welcome boost to our local tourism sector”. Actions speak louder than words though, with Cllr Follows actually participating in the event, proudly banging the Dragonboat Drum for the City with his colleagues. The Lord Mayor Cllr Anthony Munday also showed that he was also up for the challenge by paddling away with Angela Smith and other members of the Council team.
Cllr Follows beats the drum for the City of Stoke on Trent
The Europe Corporate Cup of Netball saw local teams perform even better with the City Council securing a deserved 2nd place over a strong Ernst and Young team from London who finished 3rd. However, Staffordshire Police were again the queens of the Courts as they won all seven of their pool and elimination games which saw them crowned worthy champions. Victoria Pritchard of England Netball was involved in the delivery of the event and she said “It was terrific to work with the Corporate Games team and the City of Stoke for this inaugural event. The spirit and camaraderie on the day was exemplary and the standard of facilities at Fenton Manor was excellent. We would encourage teams of all abilities to consider getting involved next year as we know you won’t regret it.”
Smiling Faces at Fenton Manor
Ben Sedgemore, Games Director said, “we would like to thank everyone who assisted and participated in the Europe Corporate Cup programme this year. We are fortunate to stage Games and Cups in great Cities all around the world but we are proud to say that Stoke On Trent is one of our favourite destinations. The local leaders are pushing hard to put this great City onto the international sporting map as well as creating a lasting sporting legacy for the City. We support everything they are trying to achieve and everyone in the area should be proud of the aspirations that the City has. We are already looking forward to next year and everyone can be involved again!
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Click here for some of the great photos from the day.
Also, to celebrate the 2016 Europe Corporate Cup taking place in Stoke-on-Trent’s ‘European City of Sport’ year, Hanley-based social enterprise Cox Bank Publishing is collecting stories about the netball and dragon boat competitions – written by you! They are looking for short stories which capture your memories of the day, your training mishaps or adventures, what inspired you to enter – anything and everything that captures the spirit of the Cup’s. We’d love to hear your voice through your words and pictures (photos capturing your day are very welcome). A 20 word poem is fine, or anything up to a 2,000 word story – it’s up to you. As many contributions as possible will be published on Cox Bank Publishing’s website and the best ones will have a chance of being published in a book later this year, celebrating Stoke-on-Trent’s sporting year. Note that by “best” we mean funny, sad, thought-provoking, inspiring, memorable, or just plain entertaining – your words, about your experience. See www.sportingstories.com for more information. Please email your stories to Loretta.Grout@corporate-games.com.