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Wellness on the Water Festival Wellness on the Water Festival


Cheer on Shannon Dragons at their Wellness on the Water Festival September 1

Promotional poster for Shannon Dragons Wellness on the Water Festival Dragon Boat Race

Cheer on Shannon Dragons at their Wellness on the Water Festival September 1

by I Love Limerick correspondent Kalina Anderson

Sunday, September 1, Shannon Dragons is hosting a ‘Wellness on the Water Festival’ on O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare.  The festival is a fundraiser aiding the Shannon Dragons in their mission of supporting breast cancer survivors. 

Established in 2017 by Brid O’Connell, a breast cancer survivor, Shannon Dragons is composed of women who have had breast cancer and their supporters, be it friends or family.  Members come from Limerick, Clare and Tipperary and the club helps these women in their rehabilitation and fitness journeys. The club now boasts two boats and a variety of experiences to suit every member. Senator Maria Byrne launched the club’s first Dragonboat on August 27 and Father Michael Wall gave the blessing.

Dragon boating has been proven to improve fitness and rehabilitation after breast cancer, unlike many other sports that are no longer suitable after recovery.  Dragon boating can reduce the severity of lymphoedema, swelling of the tissue that can occur as a result of surgery. Family and supporters are encouraged to join in as well.  The Dragons practice Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Castleconnell Boat Club on the River Shannon from March to October.

The main event of the festival will be an Inter-Company Dragon Boat Race, inspired by similar competitions run in other areas, including the Cork Interfirm Dragonboat Race.  The Shannon Dragons have twelve novice teams registered to compete, including teams from Rusal Aughinish, Analog, Axa Insurance, Britvic Ballygowan, Limerick City and County Council and Clare County Council.

The competition is fully booked but all are welcome to watch and support their favourite team as they try and paddle their way into the final.  The teams will be comprised of amateurs with just a day’s training, so the event will be highly entertaining for all spectators.

These women are exemplars of camaraderie and strength, and the ‘Wellness on the Water Festival’ is just a sample of that.  There is something for everyone, from recreational paddling to beating out the rhythm, so stroll down to O’Brien’s Bridge on Sunday, September 1 and meet the Dragons.

For more info about the Shannon Dragons, click here.

To find out more about Dragonboat racing in Ireland, click here.

To read more stories on breast cancer awareness initiatives in Limerick, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.