Wellness on the water with Shannon Dragons

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The Shannon Dragons on its way for its Maiden Vogage. Picture Brendan Gleeson

The ‘Wellness on the Water Festival’, a fundraising event for the Shannon Dragons, will take place on September 1.

This is the first time a Dragon Boat Racing Competition of this type has been held in Limerick, and the organisers are delighted that 12 novice teams have registered to take part, including teams from Rusal Aughinish, Analog, Axa Insurance, Britvic Ballygowan, Limerick City and County Council and Clare County Council.

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“It’s a big venture for us and we have our fingers crossed for the weather, rain we can get over, wind we do not want, we don’t want any choppy waters.

“This event has been run in other areas with huge success. We have seen how successful the Cork Dragon boat Race has been and would love to bring that excitement and spectacle to the Shannon Region,” said club member Mary Mc Elhinney.

Established two years ago by Brid O’Connell who was recovering from breast cancer, “once she got back on the water she felt fantastic and wanted to let other people know who were in recovery, how much it had helped her.

“The club is open to anybody, but once you are in the boat, nobody knows who has had breast cancer and who hasn’t, you are there for the exercise, and there’s huge cameraderie”.

Funds from the competition will go towards maintaining the clubs two boats, to keep them in good condition.

Some of the club members like intense training twice a week and enjoy taking part in competitions around the country. The second boat is for the ‘gentle pacers’ or beginners. The boats only have a certain lifespan, as they are not heavy-duty plastic, all money raised will be reinvested into the club.

“I was there at the start and Breda’s the driving force, she is a person of enormous energy, she keeps the whole thing going.

“On Saturday the 24, we have a safety training day. Then on competition day, people can watch the teams as they struggle to get out of the heats and into the final.

“These will be amateurs who have had one day’s training so the entertainment value will be high. We need to get the word out to as many as possible. Come out to O’Brien’s Bridge and meet the Shannon Dragons,” added Mary.

For more information see www.shannondragons.ie