With a new season of Game of Thrones hitting our screens this month, many have dragons on the mind, but have you ever considered taking up Dragon Boating as a hobby?

Wimbledon’s annual charity Dragon Boat race will be held on June 23rd this year in Wimbledon Park and is open to anyone over the age of 10 (no training required.)

Caroline Edwards, who organises the race, commented:

“The event is a great day out for all the family as we have children’s rides alongside the Dragon Boat races so everyone has real fun.

“We wanted to create a fun but competitive event for the community, so the Dragon Boat race was perfect.”

The Dragon Boat race has its origin in southern central China more than 2500 years ago.

Dragon Boats were used during ancient celebrations marking the summer rice planting as people believed dragons were the rulers of rivers, lakes and seas.

The sport involves a team of people to keep the boat afloat. A drummer keeps the paddlers in synchronisation. Pairs of paddlers sit facing the direction of the boat’s movement, rather than opposing it as in rowing. The steerer uses an oar to adjust the boat’s position.

Not only is the event a fun and popular one, but it is also a chance to make a difference to the lives of others. Caroline says:

“We raise funds for Momentum children’s charity which is based in Kingston and supports South West London children and parents. We are delighted to be making a real difference to the lives of children and their parents when they most need help.”

The charity supports children with cancer and life-limiting conditions and reaches out to 200 families at any one time.

They work to improve the lives of children during chemotherapy treatments by organising parties and giving them access to music and art therapy. They also put parents in touch with family support workers.

See here for more information about the event.