North East Connected


North East families looking for a fun day out this summer can get fired up – thanks to a spectacular sporting event.

On Sunday 11 August Hetton Lyons Country Park will play host to the Great Northern Dragon Boat Challenge, where teams race against each other in a sporting tradition that goes back more than 2000 years.

And along with the racing, a whole host of family-friendly entertainment is planned for the day to keep everyone happy – and to raise money for some worthwhile causes.

The event is being organised by two of Wearside’s leading Rotary groups – SR1 and Sunderland Satellite – which along with the racing is organising a whole host of other attractions for the day.

A fun fair, craft stalls and food and drink outlets – along with a barbeque –  will all be available and there is still time for teams of friends, family or colleagues who want to take part in the races to sign up.

Entertainment is being provided by finalists from the Genfactor, who will be performing from 11am on the day

Prior experience isn’t necessary for participants in the race and full training will be given on the day.

“This a fantastic opportunity to have a great day out and watch something very different,” said Ian Wong, President of Sunderland’s SR1 Rotary Group.

“And it’s also a great opportunity for anyone who wants to raise funds for their own charity to do just that.”

Anyone wanting more information or who wants to enter a team – at a cost of £400 per boat  – can download the entry form at

Winning teams will also get the opportunity to take part in the final race with the hope of being announced the event champions.

The event starts at 10am and runs until 5pm. Anyone interested in taking part needs to gather a group of 20 people who can, if they choose, raise sponsorship to support a charity.

The races will take place in traditional Chinese dragon boats across a 250-metre-long course, which will be provided.

A range of sponsorship opportunities are available for the event, further information is available by contacting Ian Wong

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