Bradford’s Dragonboat Festival sees teams battling it out over three-day tournament

Thousands of people from different faiths and cultures descended upon Roberts Park in Saltaire to enjoy the spectacle of the Dragonboat Festival, now in it’s third year.

It’s been estimated that some 15,000 people turned up for the three-day event which ran from Friday 5th May to Sunday 7th May.

Whilst the festival was delivered by volunteers, many of them were council officers jointly working with local businesses and the community to showcase the positive attitudes and the best in community spirit within the city.  

Other cities have seen this and are now using Bradford as the benchmark.  

During the event supporters cheered on some 41 teams from across our region, including the first international team ever to participate from Pakistan, thanks to the Consul General of Pakistan, Ahmed Amjad Ali.

Committed to promoting Pakistani culture to both British Pakistanis and the wider community, is a passion very close to the Consul General’s heart. Says Mr Ali: “I am keen to promote a positive image of Pakistan and Pakistanis in Britain, as there is so much for us to give to the wider community.

“As Pakistanis living in Britain, we must take an active interest to educate people that Pakistan is a peaceful and loving nation.

Teams were raising money for the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Geoff Reid’s chosen charity YoungMinds, which helps children, young people and their parents to find out about the mental health and wellbeing services that are available to them.

As well as taking to the boats, other entertainment in the park included live music, an Army inflatable assault course, a climbing wall and public Zumba classes.

Registration for 2018 has already opened and people can register via the website



The winners of the championships

  • Day 1 Youth Championship (5th May)

Appleton Academy (Seniors) How to Train Your Dragon Boat (Juniors)

  • Day 2 The Charity Festival for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal (6th May)


  • Day 3

Socially Minded Mish Mash Splish Splash who are raising money for Centre Point