Wearside Rotary Clubs hold ‘ambitious’ dragon boat charity race in Hetton Lyons Country Park

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Ten teams took to the lake in Hetton Lyons Country Park to dip their toes in dragon boat racing in the first such event of its scale in the North East.

And it was all for a good cause as 170 rowers – some in fancy dress – fought for the top spot on Saturday, to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Rotary Club dragon boat race in Hetton Lyons Country Park. September 9, 2015.

Rotary Club dragon boat race in Hetton Lyons Country Park. September 9, 2015.

The day was organised by Rotary Clubs across Sunderland and Washington and was made possible by a large team of dedicated volunteers working together.

There was also a whole host of activities for all the family, with fairground rides, stalls, food and refreshments.

Rotary Club of Wearside’s assistant governor Fiona Swan said: “We decided to work together, several Rotary Clubs, to raise money for charity, so we’ve had 10 teams racing together competitively in dragon boats.

“We decided to use dragon boats because it is very fun, very different. It’s something that’s not been done before.

It’s the first time a dragon boat race has been done in the North East of England on this scale and it was a very ambitious project

Fiona Swan

“It’s the first time a dragon boat race has been done in the North East of England on this scale and it was a very ambitious project, to try to get so many people together, because you need 17 people running a boat.

“The main charity we decided to choose was the Great North Air ambulance, and the reason we chose the GNAA is that everybody is aware of it and they do a fantastic job as well.”

Fiona and the other Rotarians are now hoping to make the event a annual fixture, to raise money for even more good causes.