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Dragon boating

Dragon boating originated in China around 2,500 years ago, and is still practiced today in traditional water ceremonies. The boats are long and usually brightly painted and decorated, with huge sculpted dragons' heads mounted on the front. The crew is made up of a large number of paddlers (sculls), a steersperson and a drummer who beats out the paddlers' rhythm (and usually shouts encouragement as well).

In the original races it was considered good luck for boats to capsize and for a crewmember to drown, as a sacrifice to the gods. Nowadays racers practice the sport as a supreme exercise in teamwork and physical prowess. Dragon boat races are always loud and colourful events that bring together whole groups and families.

How to run/provide dragon boating

There are 3 ways of running Dragon boating in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running dragon boating yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running dragon boating using an external provider

  3. Activity for adult groups - running dragon boating for a group entirely of adults

Useful links

The National Governing Body for dragon boating is:

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