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UK Rotary Club’s Pig Race Goes Global

November 2020

UK Rotary Club’s Pig Race Goes Global

When Rotarians on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent realised their traditional fund-raisers were going to be scuppered by COVID-19, they hit on the crackling idea of holding a virtual pig race!

Below is an article that was written before the September 2020 event. It describes the process they used to decide upon and prepare for their fundraiser. 

by Dave King

Minster-on-Sea Rotary has regularly relied on its August beer festival and 10km road race as a chief community fundraiser for the year. But with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down these ideas, the club is preparing for something very different this weekend as a fundraiser – a virtual pig race.
Organiser Ray Seager, President on Minster-on-Sea Rotary will host a card of eight races featuring six speedy piglets on Saturday, September 12th at 7pm. The races will take place at the Minster Working Men’s Club.

“I’ve always had it in my mind to run the biggest pig race in the world but never had the opportunity,” said Seager.

“Our main fundraisers have been cancelled this year, so I have come up with an online event. People can take part in the comfort of their own homes anywhere in the world,” explained Roy, who has managed to get comedian, Jimmy Crickett, to promote the event by recording a video.

“For many years, our club has run ‘pig race events’ and over the years we’ve raised close to £100,000 running pig races.

“I’ve always had it in my mind to run the biggest pig race in the world but never had the opportunity.”

After attending a virtual race night hosted by Eastbourne Rotary, Ray hit on the idea of running his own race night using Facebook as the platform to stream the event live.

He added: “I created a Facebook page ‘The World’s Biggest Online Pig Race’ and invited everyone I knew including Rotarians in Australia, Gibraltar, America and the Lebanon, as well as our contact clubs across Europe to join us.

“As we know, we have got to look for other ways to fundraise, especially for End Polio Now. There is no reason why every Rotarian in the world couldn’t take part, as it would be from the comfort of their own home.
“I honestly believe this could be huge.

“The beer festival at the Aviator at Queenborough has become the main fundraiser for our Community Chest programme which gives away several thousands of pounds to good causes across the Island.

“With this year’s beer festival cancelled we desperately needed another source of income and this certainly won’t be boar-ing.”

Ray will be the race commentator, and Paula Fagg (pictured with Ray, below) will be the chief pig wrangler, with each battery-powered pig having its own knitted jockey.

Original Published Date: September 7, 2020
Rotary Great Britain and Ireland

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