THE Boxing Day Dip is going hi-tech this year with the introduction of an online registration system.
The new system will also see a £5 registration fee introduced for the first time, which organisers say is aimed at ensuring the popular event raises as much as possible for good causes.
Hartlepool Round Table has taken over the running of the Seaton Carew event, and chairman Allan Wise says the organisation is committed to making it bigger and better by helping to raise more cash for local charities.
Allan said: “The biggest change is that we will no longer be taking 20 per cent of the money to cover administration, which is how the process has worked previously.
“Instead we will be asking dippers aged 16 and over to pay a small registration fee of £5. This way, 100 per cent of the money goes to charity.
“Every registered dipper will be given a wristband, making it easier to spot those who haven’t registered.
“We realise that the introduction of the fee means it is coming out of people’s pockets and therefore the event is no longer ‘free’, but by doing this we make sure that all the money people raise goes to their chosen charity.”
The Round Table has also pledged that money raised by dippers will reach their chosen charities quicker than in previous years as the new system eliminates the need for dippers to wait for the cash to be banked.
Allan added: “Official sponsorship forms will be sent out to people registering online, so all the dippers have to do after the event is collect the money and get it to the charities.
“To put this change into perspective, if you raise £25 in sponsorship for doing the dip, the 20 per cent taken off previously would be the same as the registration fee of £5, but if you raise more than £25 the extra cash goes to the charity and not to administration.”
Dippers who register online will receive an email containing an information pack that includes their official sponsorship form.
Currently, the £5 fee will be payable on the day, although the Round Table hopes to set up an online payment method.
Allan said: “It is essential that all dippers register their participation for their own safety and for insurance purposes. We will still be allowing people to turn up and register on the day, but we’re asking that people register through the website so we can get an idea of numbers.
“We still need everyone to check in and pay their £5 registration fee at the Staincliffe, and to check out and pick up their certificate for completing the dip.”
Dippers can register at www.boxingdaydip.org before 8pm on December 19.