Teddington dragon boat race team reaches final and raises hundreds for vulnerable children

An enthusiastic team of novice paddlers from Teddington proudly completed the Kingston Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge on Sunday 16 July, finishing in the top ten and raising hundreds of pounds for The Children’s Society.

The Lensbury Watersports Team, which comprises of a mixture of twenty staff and Lensbury Leisure Club members between the ages of 17 and 60, was formed only two months ago yet smashed their target and finished eighth out of 54 teams. 

They completed the 250metre challenge with a best time of 57.12 seconds to support the charity’s work with the most vulnerable children across the country suffering hardship, abuse and neglect.

Mark Hughes, the Leisure Operations Manager from Lensbury helped assemble the team two months ago after buying some Dragon Boats back in April. Since then they organised regular training sessions but not everyone was able to come along at the same time. The first time they actually paddled together as a team was on race day. 

Reflecting on his personal challenge and determination to make a difference, said: “Getting ready to take part in the dragon boat race was a challenge as it is difficult to get twenty people available to train at the same time! It obviously didn’t matter that much as we did much better than we ever imagined. 

“One of the team members was a student fundraiser for The Children’s Society so she told us about the charity and its important work. We are delighted to know the money raised from our efforts will go towards changing the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.”

The Children’s Society’s Supporter Engagement Officer, Laura Balcombe says: “Paddling in the Kingston Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge is a fantastic achievement and Mark and his team’s inspiring efforts will help to make a real difference to young people’s lives.   The Lensbury Watersports Team’s fundraising will support our vital work with children who often have nowhere left to turn.’

Lensbury Watersports Team’s online sponsorship page can be viewed at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lensburydragonboatteam

Article supplied by Charlie Coombes