First Dragon Boat in Scotland Arrives on Loch Ken

The boat heads out in glorious sunshine
The boat heads out in glorious sunshine

LAST Thursday, Loch Ken saw the arrival of the first Dragon Boat in Scotland.

The eagerly awaited boat arrived to glorious sunshine, and members of the Paddlers for Life charity took the chance to take the boat on her maiden voyage in the perfect conditions.

“We are very excited to have the first permanent Dragon Boat and team anywhere in Scotland,” said charity secretary and spokesperson Raewyn Thomson, “and we are looking forward to giving people the opportunity to try out this exciting new sport as a way of keeping fit and improving their health”

Paddlers for Life Scotland South West is a newly established charity that has been set up by local people who want to be able to offer an accessible and beneficial sport to those recovering from cancer as well as other members of the local community. Dragon Boat racing has become increasingly popular as a sport in recent years and it is hoped that Paddlers for Life will be able to offer an opportunity for locals to keep fit whilst having fun.

Chairperson for the charity, Lucy Carlow, said “We are extremely grateful to Macmillan, LEADER, Awards for All and the Robertson Trust for the funding we received to purchase our first boat and get the project off the ground.”

“In addition,” said Lucy, “we would like to thank Richard Herman from the Galloway Activity Centre at Loch Ken who has very kindly offered us the use of its excellent facilities.”

“Already we have people who have finished their cancer treatments and want to start re-building their health, signed up to start paddling. It is an excellent way to meet new people, have fun and get back to normality after the upheaval of illness.”

The gentle exercise of paddling, coupled with beautiful surroundings and good company have been clearly evidenced worldwide to be of particular benefit to anyone recovering from breast cancer and the related effects of its treatment.

To celebrate the arrival of the boat at Loch Ken, Paddlers for Life Scotland South West will be holding an official launch day later this summer to allow local people the opportunity to come and see the boats in action and try paddling for themselves.

In the meantime, Paddlers for Life will be holding weekly paddling sessions on Sundays at the Galloway Activity Centre. Existing members will be gaining experience in using the boat before the official launch.

To find out more about the charity, please visit or email