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Team GB Dragon Boating Squad set to train in Liverpool ahead of World Championships

1 year ago

Team GB Dragon Boating Squad set to train in Liverpool ahead of World Championships
Credit: Team GB

Team GB Dragon Boating Squad train in Liverpool

The GB Premier dragon boating squad will be training at the Liverpool Watersports Centre this weekend, in preparation for the IDBF World Championships in Thailand in August.

Team GB have attended either European or international championships every year since the first international championships in 1995. The premier squad of 20 paddlers train together once a month in locations around the UK as well as training individually 8-10 times per week. This year, five of the GB premier squad are members of Liverpool’s dragon boating club, Amathus: Patrick Cosgrove (coach of Team GB), Lauren Cosgrove, Gigie Peneche, Scot Westwood, and Paul Healey (assistant coach).

Team GB Dragon Boat (Liverpool Members)
Credit: Team GB

Dragon boating is the UK’s fastest-growing water sport and attracts people from all walks of life. It’s enjoyed by many as a really social, teamworking sport, and is a great way of forming new friendships.

Lauren, an NHS dentist from Southport, has been dragon boating since 2018. She got into the sport as her then boyfriend, now husband, was heavily involved in the sport on a national and international level and strongly encouraged her to have a go. “I’m really excited to be a part of Team GB again this year,” she said, “Last year, I was very fortunate to be selected to go to the European Championships, coming away with two bronze medals. With further hard work, I was selected again this year to attend the World Championships! I can’t wait to get out to the championships and compete on the world stage, against some of the best countries in the world.”

Lauren’s husband, Patrick, is the GB Premier squad’s coach. He’s been dragon boating since childhood and has years of experience in coaching both junior and senior teams. This is his second year as the coach for the premier squad, having first taken up the mantel for the European championships last year. He said: “Things are really kicking up a gear now that we’re just three weeks away from travelling to Thailand. This weekend, I’ll be watching the squad and making final assessments on how our women’s and mixed teams will be set up. Having the right physical balance in the boats is really important in getting through the water faster. It’s all about which combination of people makes the most effective team as a whole.”

Alongside a packed training schedule, the squad are trying to raise funds to help meet the cost of entry into the championships. This includes essential kit and entry fees as well as travel and accommodation costs for every training weekend and the championships themselves – a total of nearly £3,000 per person. Funds are raised through a combination of donations and sponsorships, with a number of sponsorship opportunities available for businesses.

The international championships will take place in Pattaya, Thailand, from Tuesday 8 to Sunday 13 August. Team GB will be racing against teams from Australia, Canada, China, China Hong Kong, China Macau, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine, and the USA.

Amathus is based at Liverpool Watersports Centre and always welcomes new members, with or without any amount of sporting experience. For more information visit their website.

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