Swapping a desk for a dragon

Ashley Kirk
Ashley Kirk

FUNDRAISER Ashley Kirk will be swapping his comfortable desk for a hard rowing bench aboard a dragon boat to raise cash for a cancer charity

In a change from the day job at Milton Keynes’ based ReadSoft, where Ashley is an accounts assistant, he will instead partner fellow members of the MK Fit boot camp to paddle the 40ft long boat with a drummer at the bow beating time and a helm at the stern hopefully steering a straight course over three heats.

“We’re certainly up for the challenge,” says Ashley of his 16-strong crew. “We are only getting in two practises with the actual dragon boat before the races themselves on Willen Lake, so we are hitting the rowing machine in the gym in preparation.

“The team has done reasonably well in the past, but this year we have all really got the bit between our teeth and will be paddling to win, not least because the faster we go, the more funds we hope to raise for a truly worthwhile cause – Macmillan Cancer Support,” says Ashley.

This will be Ashley’s first experience of these ancient Chinese racing vessels which are fast becoming one of the UK’s more popular waterborne activities.

The 10th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival is expecting up to 60 crews to battle it out over the 200m race course at Willen Lake on June 26. To support Ashley Kirk on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, donations can be made by visiting


For more about Macmillan visit http://www.macmillan.org.uk