The St Neots dragon boats team are looking forward to a busy couple of months and manager Dan Clarke is hoping the presence of three Great Britain squads this season will encourage new members to come forward.
GB’s premier, senior and under-18s squads are all using St Neots Rowing Club as a training venue in May and June before heading off to major competitions in China and the Czech Republic.
Clarke said: “Things are certainly starting to happen. The GB squads will be using our base as a training venue and in July we will be hosting for the first time ever a BDA [British Dragon Boat Racing Association] event in St Neots on Regatta Meadows.
“Also, we will be holding a ‘come and try it’ event at the rowing club. This will be a chance for people interested in this great sport to ... come and try it.
“We are very proud of our rich history of almost 18 years in the sport and we are competing against the other best 11 teams in the country for the fifth season. Last year we were at the national championships and were awarded the Most Improved Team of 2013 accolade by our peers.”
Six St Neots racers have represented Great Britain in the past at international competitions and Clarke is confident it can add to that tally in the future.
“We want to share the wealth of experience we have and present people with the opportunity to come and meet new people, socialise, get fit and keep fit.
“We want people to enjoy the beauty of the River Great Ouse in a fun, friendly and family environment.
“We don’t expect people to come and make a huge commitment to the club either – people can train for fitness or they can be part of our race team.”
The GB premier squad will be visiting the club on the weekend of May 24-25 with the senior squad (racers of 40 years plus) on June 7-9 and June 29. The under-18s will be making their second visit to St Neots following a recent competition in Szeged in Hungary.
The BDA League event will be on July 6.