Entries open for Sunderland’s Boxing Day Dip - here’s how to take part

Dippers rush into the sea at last year's event
Dippers rush into the sea at last year's event

Fancy taking the plunge for a good cause?

Entries are open for this year’s Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn - but places are limited.

One of the teams taking part last year

One of the teams taking part last year

The demolition of the dip’s former home, the Seaburn Centre, meant a move last year to the nearby Marriott Hotel - now rechristened the Grand.

Hotel chiefs have agreed to provide a home for the event again this year, but with less space available than at the Seaburn Centre, places are at a premium.

Sunderland Lions Club organises the event to raise funds for its own good causes, as well as allowing dippers to collect for their charities and organisations.

The club used to retain a share of all money pledged, but last year saw the introduction of a simpler system, with a flat fee.

Last year we had 223 dippers who raised £33,000 for charity. It would be good if we could reach 300 which is the maximum allowed in the Grand Hotel.

Anne Fielding

The same method will be used this year, with everyone taking part paying £25 up front and then free to keep every penny they raise in sponsorship,

“Last year we had 223 dippers who raised £33,000 for charity,” said club spokeswoman Anne Fielding.

“It would be good if we could reach 300 which is the maximum allowed in the Grand Hotel.

“Last year we had tremendous support from the public who came along in their thousands to cheer on the dippers so let’s have the same response this year please.”

Crowds line the seafront

Crowds line the seafront

This will be the 44th annual Boxing Day Dip. Sunderland Lions Club was founded in July 1964 and has been serving the local and international community ever since.

“We regularly receive requests to support local and international charities and when we feel the cause is in line with the values of Lions International, we respond,” said Anne.

“We also run fun casino nights for a fee and we are involved with the Recycle for Sight campaign where we collect old or unwanted spectacles from local stores which are then sent to the Lions Eyeglass recycling centre and distributed to communities internationally where they will have greatest impact.

“We have sent approximately 3,487 spectacles for redistribution and at our last meeting, we donated £1,600 to various good causes both at home and abroad.”

Registration for this year’s dip will begin at 9.30am and the procession to the sea will be at 11am.

Fancy dress will be judged inside the Hotel from 10.15am by The Lions’ President and the Mayor of Sunderland, who will also lead the procession.

Children must be 12 years of age and over to take part. Only dippers are allowed inside the Hotel function suite and they must be wearing their wrist bands which they have had sent to them.

To register for the dip contact Lion Jim Nicol at Sunderland.lions@virginmedia.com or tel. 5654207.

*Sunderland Lions Club is also offering organisations £100 to help them celebrate Christmas as part of its annual Christmas Wish campaign.

his should go towards a party, or outing around Christmas time and not just be put away in the bank.

Anyone wishing to apply should e mail Lions Mike Evans at kathandmikeevans@gmail.com ot write to Lion Mike Evans at 33, Shearwater, Whitburn SR68NR no later than October 30.