St Neots Charity Dragon Boat Race 2022

March 22, 2022

St Neots’ annual charity dragon boat race is returning this summer, after a two year pause due to the pandemic. The charity race and festival will take place on Saturday 20 August on the River Great Ouse with bankside attractions on Regatta Meadow.

The event, co-organised by St Neots Town Council, the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary’s and St Neots Dragon Boat Team is raising money for Shining Stars Children’s Charity this year. Shining Stars provides free sensory play sessions for children with additional needs and disability in St Neots and Cambridgeshire. The charity organises regular sessions and events that offer children and their families/carers a safe, happy, and fun environment to explore sensory activities, arts and crafts.

Natalie Sparrow, Founder of Shining Stars, said: “We are extremely grateful and humbled to be chosen as this year’s event Charity. It has been a difficult couple of years for us as a charity, but we have remained positive and focused and we are continuing to grow. With your support we will be able to continue doing the great work we do.”

Dragon Boat Racing is one of the world’s oldest sports, originating in China over 2,500 years ago. Introduced to the UK in the early 1980’s, the sport is now recognised as the most colourful, fastest growing, and exhilarating water-based activity in the UK. Part of its amazing appeal is the ability to get everyone working together in a very short space of time, giving a real and lasting sense of individual achievement and team spirit. Dragon Boating is a sport everyone can participate in, no experience is necessary, and the St Neots race attracts a wide range of contestants including corporate groups, sports, and social groups, all keen to enjoy a fun challenge together whilst raising money for charity.

A unique benefit for crews entering the St Neots race is the opportunity to participate in a pre-race day training session, courtesy of St Neots Dragon Boat Team. During the hour-long session crews will familiarise themselves with the dragon boat and paddles, practice technique (on land and water) and receive valuable tips from expert coaches.

The event promises to be an enjoyable spectacle for all the family, with racing taking place between 10.00am and 5.00pm. For those keen to stay bankside there is plenty to keep all the family amused, from street food and a licensed bar to live race commentary and children’s entertainment.

Mike Truswell from the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary’s, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces again with St Neots Town Council and St Neots Dragon Boat Team to organise the seventh annual Dragon Boat Race at the Regatta Meadow. After a break of two years due to the pandemic we encourage local businesses, clubs, societies, and groups of friends to enter the race and join in a fun filled day by the lovely River Ouse to raise money for Shining Stars Children’s Charity as well as other local causes supported by the Mayor’s Charity Fund and Rotary. Crews will also have the opportunity to raise funds for their own nominated charity or local cause.”

Dan Clarke, Manager of St Neots Dragonboat Team, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with St Neots Town Council and the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary’s to bring the Dragonboat Festival back this August after a two-year break. It’s so important for the town of St Neots that this event resumes.”

Katie Williams, Town Development Manager at St Neots Town Council, said: “After a two-year pause in our events programme St Neots Town Council is thrilled to be partnering with Rotary and St Neots Dragon Boat Team again to bring the charity dragon boat race back to St Neots. A highlight in our events calendar, the Dragon Boat Race engages the whole community including many local businesses who participate and support the event, helping us to raise much needed charitable funds.”

For further information on how to enter the race including entry fees and sponsorship opportunities, visit: Entry forms are available to download on the website. For any additional queries contact St Neots Town Council on: 01480 388 911 /