by ACT

  • Posted on July 21, 2017


  • Uncategorized

… 2017 Dragon Boat Race

For a number of fun loving people, Sunday 16th July was no ordinary Sunday. Everyone was up and out of bed early to make their way to Kingston upon Thames for the annual Rotary Club Dragon Boat Challenge at Cranbury Park Gardens.

It was my good pleasure to organise and lead out the motley ACT dragon boaters crew at this year’s challenge. This was my third crack at bringing together a crew for fun and flailing about on this nice stretch of Thames water to fundraise for ACT. Not being a man famed for any aquatic confidence, I am always surprised how much I take to pulling those strength sapping strokes as we speed along the 200 metre course.

For many in the ACT team, it was their first experience of actually rowing a dragon boat. The day started off with a briefing on rowing techniques, health and safety, and then it was time to put on the life jackets and get into the boat.

Each team raced three times and each race was an opportunity to pull our weight as a team, which we did by following the beat of the drummer at the front. We were set against 54 other teams, each champing at the competitive bit. We produced our first ever win in the first heat we raced. All that five minutes of preparation really counted! Our technique in subsequent races got more ragged as we tired, especially as many of the crew were tempted by siren voices begging assistance in other boats. The ACT crew were generous to a fault and willing to help. Yet my abiding memory of this event is that of the grimaces converted to glee as we held our own on the water for a good cause.

In just a few days ACT has already raised nearly £500 through sponsorship with more donations are expected. Our target is £2,000. The funds raised will allow ACT to reach more disadvantaged children and needy widows in 8 countries of Africa, helping children to access an education so they can achieve their potential in life and empowering widows to generate income, bringing hope for a better life.

A big thanks to all the ACT crew and also those who travelled far to support us on the river bank. Gauging by the bounding enthusiasm of those who took part, we may go with two teams of sixteen next year. If you are up for taking up a space on deck or perhaps want to organise a whole boat, please contact the ACT office. It’s funny how supporting disadvantaged children and widows can take you through interesting wet places.

Blessings to all and see you again next year.

Captain Chima Amiaka

If you would like to make a donation and help us to achieve our fundraising target you can donate here.

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