How Can I Join?

The benefits of paddling a dragon boat are numerous. Not only are there physical benefits but social and emotional too. We train, race and meet socially and through meeting other breast cancer survivors, a special camaraderie forms.

All breast cancer survivors (and their supporters) are welcome to paddle with Pool of Life. You need no previous experience and it doesn’t matter about your level of fitness, shape, size or age. Our youngest member is 32 and our eldest 72.

If you want us to come and talk to your breast cancer support group, just ask!  See details on ‘Contact us‘ page.

Levels of Paddling Available

When you join Pool of Life it is your decision whether to race or just enjoy the gentler ‘pink paddle’ or ‘intermediate’ sessions for the social / exercise benefits.

As a member, you will have the opportunity to take part in charity and other ‘fun’ events, in the UK and overseas.  If you do decide to take part in ‘serious’ race events then you will also have the opportunity to take part in competitive racing at home and abroad…maybe even to represent GB on the European or World stage!


The Watersports Centre has a cafe where you can make yourself a hot drink and also changing facilities where you can shower and change into dry clothes. Also, lockers are available for your valuables.

Training Sessions

We recommend a minimum of three months of recovery after completion of your breast cancer treatment/therapy before paddling with us. Please check with your medical advisors first if you have any concerns about starting to paddle with us.

All new paddlers must wear a buoyancy aid for a full season and all paddlers must wear a buoyancy aid through the winter months when the temperature of the water is cold.

A health and safety briefing will be given before your first time on the water.  We suggest trying one of our gentle introductory ‘pink paddle’ sessions to start with.  See our events page for information on paddle sessions and meeting times.

A typical training session consists of warm-up exercises on dry land.

  1. A 5-minute jog to increase your heart rate and warm up your body.
  2. Then to increase flexibility, a series of stretching exercises are undertaken (for a further 5 mins).

Once we are warmed up we load the boat from the front with 2 paddlers per seat, usually 18 paddlers and a helm (we only have a drummer when racing).  We will take you through a variety of technical exercises, short and longer training runs, racing strategies etc.  The sport of dragon boating uses some strange commands for instructing paddlers, so we will also explain these to you!

What do I Need to Wear?

It is probably a good idea to wear old clothes and to have a complete change of clothes with you – this is a water sport and you may get wet! We will provide you with a buoyancy aid and paddle. It is advisable not to wear denim as it holds the water when wet, which will make you feel cold. Jewellery is not to be worn when paddling. Old trainers or wet shoes can be worn.  A good grip on the sole of the footwear is advisable so you do not slip getting in and out of the boat. Bring a small bottle of water with you for on the boat.

If you decide to join us on a regular basis, we will provide you with ‘Pool of Life’ branded training and racing gear.

Probably the most important requirement is a sense of adventure and a smile, even when you are wet !!!


All paddlers are required to pay a subscription fee of £4.00 per session attended (1st session is free). There is no need to buy specialist paddling gear as this will be provided at each session.


Family and friends are most welcome to paddle with Pool Of Life.

Map and Directions to the Water Sports Centre