SAILING: Carnival of snake boat racing comes to Draycote Water

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Saturday, July 29 from 9am - free entry

Spectacular snake boat racing comes to Draycote Water next Saturday (July 29) from 9am - and entry is free.

Rugby Mayor Cllr Belinda Garcia and members of the Union of UK  Malayalee Associations

Rugby Mayor Cllr Belinda Garcia and members of the Union of UK Malayalee Associations

The largest team sport in the world, colourful and rhythmic is widely enjoyed in the state of Kerala in South India. But there’s no need to travel that far this year to experience the style and spirit of snake boat racing as the Union of UK Malayalee Associations (UUKMA) is recreating the event at Draycote, with the UUKMA Kerala Carnival and Boat Race.

The real snake boats, called Chundan Vallam in Kerala are 140-150 feet long and can contain 150-160 rowers. But at Draycote they will be only 40 feet long and contain 16 rowers each.

The event will include a boat race based on the world famous Nehru Trophy in Kerala, with 22 teams competing.

Most of the rowers are Keralites – who migrated to UK from south India.

Other attractions are culture programmes, street dances, classical dances, kathakali, cultural parade, kerala food stall, spice stall and handicraft stall. This event is organised by UUKMA in corporation with Kerala Tourism, Incredible India and Indian High Commission London.

The venue was officially handed over to UUKMA national secretary Rojimon Varughese by the Mayor of Rugby Cllr Belinda Garcia.

UUKMA is an umbrella organisation for 107 UK Malayalee Associations. Its aim is to promote the wellbeing of Malayalees living in UK and to integrate them with the mainstream community. It also organises arts festivals, charity and cultural events and are a voluntary, non-profit organisation.