The Soaring Dragons are a dragon boat racing club in Hathern, Loughborough. Established in March 2016, our much-loved boat was launched from the banks of the River Soar that April, and we held our first Open Day in May which was extremely successful. Now, years down the line, we are a fun-loving, dedicated and social team with numerous awards to our name with success after success at the National Cup Finals since 2016! We have also competed internationally and hope to do more of this in the future.
We welcome everyone from complete newbies to seasoned paddlers to join our team, and you’ll find that the support you’ll get from your team mates is truly second-to-none. We’re extremely proud to have members from all backgrounds, ages, and abilities who come together to form the fabulous and diverse Soaring Dragons family.
As dragon boating is a minority sport in the UK, we’re used to hearing this question!
The sport of dragon boat racing can be traced back to Ancient China, more than 2,000 years ago. Superstitious Chinese villagers held boat races to appease the rain Gods, and in 278 BC a great warrior poet jumped in the River Mi Lo, with villagers attempting to rescue him in their fishing boats, beating on drums and splashing their oars in the water to keep fish away.
As a symbolic icon for China, the dragon represents strength, power and patriotism, ruling over the wind, mist and rain! Each dragon boat has an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow, and a dragon’s tail at the stern. The hull is painted with dragon scales, and the paddles symbolically represent the claws.
There are generally 18-20 paddlers in a standard size 40ft fibre-glass dragon boat, alongside a drummer to keep time, and a helm, or “steerer” who makes sure the boat is on course. With drumming, shouting and decorated boats, dragon boat races and events are colourful and energetic, requiring strength, endurance and teamwork.
In the UK, dragon boat racing first featured competitively in September 1980, and its now becoming of the world’s most popular watersports, seeing amazing growth and media coverage. It’s a fantastic sport (we know we’re biased), so why not come along and try something new?
As coordination and teamwork is the name of the game in dragon boat racing, you'll find that our team spirit is like no other. It's the perfect place to make friends for life.
Although the Soaring Dragons club is suitable for most abilities, we won't deny that it can often be hard work! It's a fantastic and unique way to exercise.
Dragon boat racing is over 4000 years old, but in the UK it's a fairly new phenomenon. Trying out different things is always good, and you might be a natural!
From training sessions to competitions, and from Christmas parties to weekends away, take a look at what the Soaring Dragons team gets up to!