The Pershore Phoenix, who train at Difford in Worcestershire, head into 2024 – the Year of the Chinese Dragon – with a recruitment drive.
Dragon boat racing, which has roots in more than 2,000 years of Chinese history, first became competitive in the United Kingdom in September 1980.
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The sport was originally practiced by superstitious Chinese villagers to ward off bad luck and seek rainfall for prosperity.
The focus of their rituals was the dragon.
The sport continued to grow, gaining recognition from the Sports Council in 1992.
The Pershore Phoenix are a very active team, representing different categories including mixed, senior, male and female teams.
In close association with the Para Dragon and Purple Warriors, teams compete in 14- and 22-person wooden boats, complete with dragon head and tail.
Their successful performances in various events last season resulted in them placing fifth at the national level.
Highlights of their season included a two-day national event at Holme Pierpoint National Aquatics Center in Nottingham, where they battled against larger teams.
They also competed on the international stage at a festival hosted by Barcelona's Olympic Water Park, earning medals against teams from as far away as Canada and Dubai.
At the heart of their success are Guyon and Laura, who competed at international level for Great Britain at the World Championships in Thailand last August.
Training two or three times a week in Difford, the team welcomes new rowers, whether beginners or experienced, and offers four free sessions initially.
The team is particularly aiming to strengthen the men's team this year.
Members range in age from 15 to over 60, so paddlers of all ages are welcome.
For more information, visit the team’s website or its Instagram or Facebook page.
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