Christmas could well arrive early for any number of the thirteen applicants who have been chosen to pitch to the Dragons of The Newmarket Festival this coming Thursday. An initiative set up in collaboration with The Newmarket Academy emulates the hit TV show Dragons Den, as students face a team of local business leaders in the hope of securing funds for their applications.
Applications for this year have been received with requests totalling in excess of £10,000, however it remains to be seen how much of that will be won on Thursday morning! Two thousand pounds was granted at last years’ event, so applicants should be hopeful that their applications might hit the mark. Alex Baldock, was one such recipient in 2016, receiving free entry to the Newmarket Hilly and matched-fundraising of up to £500 for his expedition to India. A student with high aspirations is India Jee as she pursues a career as a long-haul pilot. India took to the skies following her successful pitch for a flying lesson at Cambridge airport and such was her experience that she has been inspired to take a further 7 lessons as she works towards a Private Pilot’s Licence. The sky’s the limit! Another successful applicant was Mia Hunt who secured funding for new kit for her netball team. She recently reported back to the Dragons about the squads increased confidence in being able to turn out to competitions wearing a team uniform, which in turn has resulted in improved individual and team performances.
Academy Principal, Nick Froy, touched on the importance to the children when commenting, “The work of the Newmarket Festival has changed the lives of our students. Not only have they been supported in fulfilling their dreams, they have grown in confidence and aspiration through the backing of the ‘Dragons’.”
Representing The Newmarket Festival as Dragons will be Noel Byrne of The Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Kevin Hancock of Yutree Insurance, Michelle Kerr of Newmarket Racecourses, Simon Mitchell of IMP Graphics and Alistair Thomson of Tesco, Newmarket.
Fundraising events planned by The Newmarket Festival for 2018 include perennial favourites The Qipco Festival Preview Lunch, The Charity Hilly Cycling Sportive and new for 2018, The Newmarket Colour Run. Further details will be available from The Festival website at www.thenewmarketfestival.co.uk where early bird offers are currently available until January 31st 2018 for The Hilly.