To the beat of a drum, veterans and their families recently headed out for a day of dragon boat racing.

It marked the first RSL Active event for the Mildura region in the state’s northwest, and saw 40 participants try their hand at the sport.

According to the Australian Dragon Boat Federation, modern day dragon boating is a competitive sport, which is steeped in a rich Chinese history dating back over 2000 years.

"We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out, or a more successful introduction to RSL Active in the region."

Steve Gilmour, RSL Active Program and Events Officer

Each crew launched into the river after a safety briefing and some handy hints on the techniques needed.

The boat took out four groups, with each participant paired with a member of the local dragon boat club and a drummer at the front.

The family friendly event saw rowers aged 10 to 88, including veterans from the three services.

RSL Active is open to all veterans and their immediate families.

“It was fantastic to see the young and the young-at-heart come together for a fun and sociable day out, a bit of exercise and some team work,” says Steve.

All the hungry paddlers finished the day off with a barbeque laid on by the Mildura RSL.

More RSL Active events are being planned for the region soon.