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Loretta and Rob Lewis (right) with Redlands MP Matt McEachan, Cr Mark Edwards and Mayor Karen Edwards at the recent Macleay Island Classic.

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Our Bay Islands are about to get a Dragon Boat Club.

A meeting to establish the club was held at the Tingira Boat Club on Macleay Island on May 11.

The sport is being brought to the islands by Loretta and Rob Lewis.

The couple have been associated with the sport for more than 27 years commencing as a social paddlers who then took up the sport as competitive paddlers, represented Queensland at the Australian Championships and represented Australia at the World Championships and World Club Crew Championships.

For the past eight years Loretta Lewis been involved in the governance side of the sport at club, Queensland and Australian levels, and currently holds the position of Deputy Treasurer on the International Dragon Boat Federation.

The couple are keen to get a club going on Macleay, as they own property on Macleay and visit regularly and have family here..

“We will be here to to support the development of the club and the sport, however I want the members to be the real owners of the sport as it is a team sport and we need everyone to be part of the development and a dragon boat family member,” Loretta Lewis said.

Dragon boating as a Tingira Boat Club sport will welcome people of all ages and all levels of fitness.

“Hopefully it will develop eventually into a high level sporting team as one goal, plus social members who would just like to have a paddle and enjoy the activity.

“I am also hoping some of our members will be cancer survivors and build a support group where friends can meet and have a paddle and social activity,” Loretta Lewis added.

Participants will be all ages from 12 and over and depending on the level of health and fitness, members of all ages will be welcome to join in.

The club is expected to operate as part of Tingira Boat Club and already has purchased an old dragon boat that is on the beach at the club.

“Hopefully as the club develops, we will be able to get a grant to buy another boat and equipment and to train team members in the skills of sweeping and coaching and gain accreditation,” Loretta Lewis said.

To find out more you may contact Loretta by email: