Competition funds will help dragon boat club on way to championships

Cambridgeshire Royals Dragon Boat team, winners of the £1,000 Skip of Gold competition. Picture: CON

Cambridgeshire Royals Dragon Boat team, winners of the £1,000 Skip of Gold competition. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Royals Dragonboat Club scooped the £1,000 prize on offer through the Mick George Skip of Gold competition.

Launched in February, the Skip of Gold competition, run in partnership with the Hunts Post, offered sports clubs and community groups in Huntingdonshire the chance to win £1,000.

More than 100 applications were submitted before a shortlist of 30 cases were put forward to the voting stage. In excess of 1,500 votes were submitted ahead of the eventual winners being selected based on the most votes received.

Cambridgeshire Royals Dragonboat Club managed to edge out St Neots Rugby Club, who finished runner-up, while third position was secured by Bluntisham Baptist Church.

Although Dragonboat racing is one of the most exciting and inclusive water sports, not to mention one of the fastest growing team water sports in the world, its status as an amateur sport, means there is currently no funding available, so winning the £1,000 fund will prove invaluable support.

The funds will be utilised to support four U18/24 Dragonboat paddlers from the Cambridgeshire team who have been selected to represent Great Britain.

Lewis Newark, George Armiger (both 17), Thomas Evans and Ellie Mobbs (16) are now training hard at venues across the UK as well as in the local waterways, hoping to bring back gold medals as a result.

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Deb Armiger, who nominated of Cambridgeshire Royals Dragonboat Club, said: “This funding will go towards getting the paddlers out to Thailand in August where they have been invited to join the Great Britain squad in the 14th International Dragonboat Championships in Pattaya.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for them and also a huge thanks to Mick George for shortlisting them and offering such a generous prize.”

Previously, Chatteris in Bloom, St Neots Swans Swimming Club, Huntingdon Rugby Club, Methodist church and Carers Trust Cambridgeshire have each been successful in winning the Skip of Gold competition.

Jon Stump, finance director at Mick George, said: “It was fantastic to see the community embrace the Skip of Gold competition, the support that the various groups received was overwhelming. This is the fourth time that we have run the competition in partnership with the Hunts Postand it’s clear to see by the vast number of entries, just how important this support can be for the development of each nomination.”