The conga team at the start. Heading off under grey skies

Long-distance conga record

Members of Ipswich Outdoor Group did an 11 mile conga dance up and down Felixstowe seafront in an attempt to set a new world record.

The event, on Sunday April 28th, was planned to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice. If you would like to make a donation however big or small please click the button below:

DONATE NOW

Beth Condie, community fundraising manager at the hospice, said “We’re used to our fundraisers doing all sorts of whacky things to raise money for us, but this is certainly a first.”

The existing record was 7.84 miles set in Brighton in 2016. Ipswich Outdoor Group were initially aiming to complete 8 miles to beat the record, but kept going for just over 11 miles! Video evidence and statements from witnesses and timekeepers are being submitted to Guinness World Records. Hopefully they will accept this record attempt and list it as a new world record.

The team ‘conga-ed’ up and down a stretch of the seafront promenade at Felixstowe for just over five and a half hours.

The conga team in sunshine in the afternoon
The conga team in sunshine in the afternoon

A core team of 11 dancers completed the full 11 mile conga: Rachael Norris, John Wright, Anni Meehan, Paul Jordan, Miriam Burns, Rebecca Hughes, Peter Edwards, Sarah Sheppard, Karen West, Steve Seinet-Martin and Emma Giddings. Other members of the group joined the back of the conga line during the day and encouraged the public to have a go.

Weather conditions on the day were varied. It started grey and chilly. Then it rained on and off for a while. Ipswich Outdoor Group member Rachael Norris reminded the conga team that it was not ‘rain’, it was ‘liquid sunshine’. Eventually the skies cleared and the sun came out.

Ian Lightfoot of the Suffolk Rickshaw Company provided invaluable assistance. Guinness World Records require video evidence of the entire record attempt. Ian cycled his rickshaw ahead of the conga line and carried the team of volunteers doing the filming.

Ian from Suffolk Rickshaw Company cycled ahead of the conga line and carried the team of volunteers doing the filming
Ian from Suffolk Rickshaw Company cycled ahead of the conga line and carried the team of volunteers doing the filming

Many other people also helped on the day. There were charity collectors with their buckets. A refreshment team was on hand with water, soup and snacks. A team of ‘conga-minders’ kept the busy promenade clear for the dancers. Bob Hannan even supplied a tent Porta-Loo.

Simon Fevyer of Ipswich Outdoor Group said “We would like to thank everyone who cheered us on, and all those who so generously contributed to the charity collection.”

The event raised funds and awareness for St. Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich, whose professional care serves the needs of patients with progressive and terminal illnesses. The hospice needs over £9 million a year to run its services and relies on donations to meet these costs.

To make a donation to support St Elizabeth Hospice please click the button below:

DONATE NOW

Happy faces after the conga
Happy faces after the conga

Ipswich Outdoor Group planned the conga event to support group member John Wright. In 2017 St Elizabeth Hospice provided exceptional care for John’s wife Toni, a community nurse who specialised in children’s medicine. John and the rest of Toni’s family have been fundraising for the hospice over the last 2 years with many campaigns and have so far contributed over £70,000. The conga record attempt seemed like a perfect match. It gave Ipswich Outdoor Group the chance to do something fun and challenging, while also raising much needed funds for a worthy cause.

To make a donation please click the button below:

DONATE NOW