Fifth annual Doncaster dragon boat challenge is biggest ever

The Dragon Boat racing at Rother Valley in aid of Neurocare locally
The Dragon Boat racing at Rother Valley in aid of Neurocare locally
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The Doncaster Tourism and St George’s Rotary Club Dragon Boat Challenge returns for its fifth year on July 12, bigger and better than ever! Following on from the success of the last four years, the 2014 Dragon Boat race has grown to have the largest number of competitors yet.

A total number of 36 teams from all around Doncaster will line up against each other for the race. The event is free to attend, and the watching crowd can enjoy a range of attractions and entertainment such as a fun fair, charity stalls and a range of food and drink.

The crews, of all ages and abilities, will take to the water aboard 30 foot, beautifully decorated Chinese Dragon boats. They will be battling it out to become the new ‘Dragon Boat Champions of Doncaster’, with each vying to take the title from last year’s winners ‘DCLT’s Dragon Warriors’.

Cabinet member for Tourism, Councillor Bob Johnson, said: “The Dragon Boat Challenge is always a fantastic event, and we are proud to be holding it for a fifth consecutive year. The scale of this year’s event emphasizes how much the people of Doncaster have enjoyed the Dragon Boat race before - it promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable day for everyone involved, and will hopefully raise a lot of money for charity.”

Each crew is made up of up to 10 paddlers, a beating drummer at the front of the boat and a steering helm (provided by the organisers Gable Events) at the tail end.This year, it has been announced that all the competitors in the Challenge will receive a VIP package at Bawtry Paintball and Laser Fields, Europe’s largest paintball activities centre, which is celebrating its fifth year being voted as Britain’s number one paintball attraction.

The Dragon Boat event helps to raise money for charities, with each individual competitor asked to raise £30 in donations for their efforts. Last year’s event alone helped to raise over £11,000 for the Rotary Club of St. George’s charity, Cardio Risk in the Young (CRY) and other good causes. This year, fund raisers will be collecting money for the Eve Merton Dreams Trust (EMDT), a local charity that helps to make dreams come true for seriously and terminally ill cancer patients in the Doncaster area.

Commenting on the Challenge, Charity co-founder Martin Lawrence said: “We are honoured to be a part of Doncaster’s Dragon Boat challenge and to be the event’s main charity. The event is always a fantastically run family fun day and is a permanent fixture in our charity’s schedule. We hope everybody can come along, enjoy the five-year celebrations and support all the teams taking part, including our own!

“We are a Doncaster charity set up to help Doncaster people and this event gives everyone the chance to have a great day whilst raising some vital funds for our town’s serious and terminally ill Cancer patients. To potentially answer a dream, grant a wish or provide funds for vital condition related materials. For more information please visit www.evestrust.co.uk or check out our Facebook page and Twitter @evestrust.”

For more information, please contact Doncaster Tourism on “Tel 01302 736036 or email r.young@doncaster.gov.