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Dragon Boats on Loch Ken was formed in March 2010 with the express aim of providing regular Dragon Boat paddling sessions on Loch Ken for people wishing to take up a recreational sport to help rebuild their health after illness. Having been set up by three women who had themselves recovered from breast cancer, the charity was set up primarily to ensure that the offer of Dragon Boating was available to people in the locality recovering from cancer, or other illness who are seeking to regain their health whilst having fun in a safe and friendly environment. This offer extends to anyone over 12 years old who regardless of physical ability, would like to take up a new interest and improve their health.

Dragon Boat paddling has become increasingly popular as a global sport in recent years. The sport has been widely adopted by Breast Cancer Charities / Support Groups as a medium for delivering both beneficial physical therapy as well as a support network for people recovering from cancer, particularly breast cancer. Studies have shown that the physical actions involved in paddling are beneficial to those who experience Lymphoedema which may arise in some women after breast cancer treatment.

Doctor Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, launched 'Abreast In A Boat' in 1996 to test the myth that repetitive upper-body exercise in women treated for breast cancer encourages Lymphoedema. Dr McKenzie believed that by following a special exercise and training program, women could avoid Lymphoedema and enjoy active, full lives. Dragon Boat racing has proved to be a very beneficial way for people to stay healthy and build up their strength after illness.

The “Dragon Boats on Loch Ken” project has been realised through both fundraising and training. Since the charity was founded, funds have been raised for two boats and all the relevant necessary equipment. Funds raised have also allowed for a training budget and promotion of the project. A part time Project Co-ordinator was employed in April 2011 to manage the arrangements for weekly sessions, and to promote the project through both events and local advertising.

Membership has increased from 60 in March 2011 to 230 by November 2011. Members attend as and when they wish without obligation. The membership itself is made up of Trustees, Committee members and members. Members are encouraged to become involved in all aspects of running the club and more experienced members mentor visitors and new members.

During 2011, two Dragon Boats and all the relevant equipment were purchased and the group now operates weekly paddling sessions between March and October on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. These sessions are open to all. If you have specific physical limitations / requirements, please let us know in advance (in strict confidence) and we will make provisions wherever possible, to accommodate your needs.

Sessions begin at 10am on a Sunday morning and are open to all.
If you’d like to come along to watch or have a try, you’d be very welcome
and all necessary equipment will be supplied.

To book a place, please email us at
info@dragonboatsonlochken.co.uk