Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'We Paddle, We Don't Row'; Stingers Put out Call for Members after State Title

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'We Paddle, We Don't Row'; Stingers Put out Call for Members after State Title

Article excerpt

Byline: Callum Dick Callum.Dick@dailymercury.com.au

Dragon Boat: In describing the differences between traditional competition rowing and Dragon boat racing, Mackay Stingers coach and paddler Linda Nugent was particular on one point.

"Just a hint - we paddle, we don't row," the CQ University lecturer said.

What may be a superfluous distinction to some is a point of pride to the experienced paddler.

Dragon boat boasts a rich sporting history, dating back more than 2000 years to China's southern Guangdon Province.

The ancient sport regained traction in the modern sporting landscape in 1976.

Australia's first involvement came in 1980, when the a surf lifesaving club from Western Australia was invited to a competition in Malaysia.

The first domestic competition was held in Sydney in 1984 and the sport has since grown rapidly in Australia, with all states except Northern Territory represented by a federation. In Queensland alone there are 36 teams comprising more than 1500 members.

The Mackay Dragon Boat Club is one such entity.

Nugent and her fellow paddlers recently returned from the Queensland Dragon Boat Titles at Kawana Lakes.

There, the small team of 16 - 13 women and three men - contested 10s races over 200m.

The team earned a place in the finals, however came away without a podium placing up against larger and better-equipped south-east Queensland competition.

However, eight Mackay paddlers linked with Lakers Club from Brisbane on the final day of competition to bring home a bronze medal in the 500m Senior A Open event.

Further recognition of the Stingers' steady growth as a Dragon boat club came when Senior B regular, PC Tehau Paul, was named to the Queensland Senior A team.

He will travel to Canberra over Easter to contest the Australian championships. …

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