Dragon Boating

SCOTLAND’S first Dragon Boat team, Paddlers for Life Scotland SW, have just returned from their first competition held last Saturday at the EUR sports complex in Rome.

In a regatta held jointly by Incontradonna and Rome’s Dragon Boat team, Pink Butterfly, they joined other teams of women from Rome and Florence to race and promote breast cancer awareness.

The four members of Paddlers for Life Scotland South West, also known as Dragon Boats on Loch Ken, were presented with a trophy by the president of Lazio Region, Renata Polverini, who was there to promote the work of Incontradonna, an organisation based in Rome which promotes breast cancer awareness and good health.

The team was well entertained by their Italian hosts, who were excited to find Scotland actually had a Dragon Boat Team.

As Lucy Carlow of the Scottish team said: “We hope we can welcome some of the international teams from Ireland, Italy, Canada and Australia to Dumfries and Galloway to paddle with us in the future. We hope our trip to Rome will be the first of many liaisons with other groups of Dragon Boat paddlers. It certainly inspired us to keep paddling on Loch Ken and promote Dragon Boating as a new Scottish sport.”

The team on Loch Ken is open to anyone who would like to try out Dragon Boating. As the dragon boats hold up to 20 people, it is an ideal group activity and does not require any particular skill or previous experience. The group paddle at the Galloway Activity Centre on Loch Ken every Sunday and welcome new members.

The Dragon Boats on Loch Ken will be officially launched on Sunday July 31 at 11am at the Galloway Activity Centre, near Parton, Castle Douglas. The event will be a family day out with storytelling for children, a barbecue in the afternoon and the opportunity to try out Dragon Boating. All are welcome to see the boats in action in the beautiful surroundings of Loch Ken. The GAC has a café offering great views of the loch, an outside seating area, walks and activities for all ages.

For further information contact Lindsay Baillie, the project co-ordinator, at lindsay@paddlersforlifescotlandsw.co.uk, or by phone 07510166566 or online at www.paddlersforlifescotlandsw.co.uk.