Sport of Dragon Boating making waves with funds

Appleton Academy students Damien Hields, Lucy Wilby and Rhys Kittsen with a new Dragon Boat they secured funding for at Doe Park in Denholme

Appleton Academy students Damien Hields, Lucy Wilby and Rhys Kittsen with a new Dragon Boat they secured funding for at Doe Park in Denholme

First published in News by

The Oriental sport of Dragon Boating will make waves in Denholme, thanks to funding secured by three teenagers.

They managed to obtain a £20,000 grant for the boats, which will be kept at Doe Park water activity centre.

The trio was inspired to bid for the Youth Opportunity Fund cash for their school, Appleton Academy in Wyke, after a team of teachers became national Dragon Boat champions in 2011.

Five teachers from the school and six staff members from Doe Park enjoyed the surprise victory at the British Dragon Boat National Finals in Nottingham, despite having only tried the sport a handful of times.

One of the teachers, outdoor education co-ordinator Katy Hebron, said they went back to school and showed students a video of their exploits.

She said: “They wanted a go, but the closest place that did Dragon Boating was Liverpool.”

So students Lucy Wilby, Rhys Kittsen and Damien Hields approached Bradford Council and successfully bid for the pot of cash to bring Dragon Boating to the district.

The money has been used to buy two £6,000 boats, complete with horns, fangs and tails, which arrived at Doe Park last Thursday. Funding will also pay for transport to take pupils to and from the reservoir for lessons.

Now the school hopes to introduce the Chinese sport to schools across the district, and also open it out to members of the public.

Contact Doe Park on 01274 833826 or e-mail doe.park@bradford.gov.uk for details.

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