Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Lancaster University in traditional Chinese Dragon boat race

A team of 20 Lancaster University students, staff and community members braved the heavy rain and wind to take home 2nd place at the North West Confucius Institute Dragon Boat Competition was held at Preston Docks on 10th May.

The annual set of races are held to celebrate the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival and included teams from five universities in the region.

The team, drawn from across Lancashire and Cumbria, was sponsored with the generous support of the Lancaster University Confucius Institute.

As part of this year’s preparation, the team also partnered with Paddlers For Life (PFL), a Cumbria-based charity for cancer survivors that fosters the wellbeing of those who have experienced cancer through physical activity and team support.

The Lancaster University team joined PFL for a day of training and camaraderie on beautiful Lake Windermere where team members were taught paddling techniques and staying in time with the dragon boat drum. 

Lancaster University's Dragonboat team

Team members Jill Brumand and Sandra Maloney were both new to dragon boat but were keen to try and learn more about a traditional Chinese sport. Sandra said, "Competing in a dragon boat competition was definitely one of the highlights of my time at Lancaster!"

"The amazing women and men from Paddlers for Life taught us all we needed to know and it was because of their coaching and encouragement that we did so well in the race and we even got to train on Lake Windermere!"  

With two qualifying heats of intense sprint paddling and the championship heat in a downpour the team was quite tired but it was all worth it. After the final Jill added, "It was exciting to see everyone come together and work as a team. We worked so hard and it was a fantastic experience."

On the back of the team’s success, Lancaster University Confucius Institute hopes to host the next instalment of the annual races on the River Lune in May of 2015.

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