AVID rowers and fundraising paddlers are being urged to sign up as part of a team for this year's Reading Dragon Boat Festival.

A maximum of 40 team are expected to take part in the second edition of the event on August 20, hosted by Reading Lions Club at Thames Valley Park Riverside.

There are still plenty of spaces open for teams of 15 and businesses can sign up to sponsor a boat for a designated charity.

Andy Young, events organiser for Reading Lions said: "Last year we had 11 teams taking part in races at the festival, but this year is expected to be much bigger.

"It is free entry on the day and charities will automatically be given a stall for signing up.

"There are similar events in other parts of the country which have been really successful and we are some way behind them.

"We are hoping the festival will continue to grow and we would love to host designated children's races in the future."

Teams of 15 must pay £460 (inc vat) to enter the festival and are guaranteed a minimum of three races each.

Reading Lions celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and the club is hoping to make the boat festival a regular fixture in their fundraising calendar.

Charities entering before August 1 will have a free stall and all entrants will be given medical checks and water safety advice before any races start.

Visit: www.readingdragonboatfestival.co.uk or call 07970616283 for more information.