Wanted: men to get onboard

MOUNT Warning Dragon Boat Club wants men who are prepared to find themselves up a creek - but with paddles.

The club continues to steer in the right direction with a swelling number of paddlers, but the snag is the lack of male club members.

This means the club is limited in competing at regattas.

Club president Chris Lonie said Mt Warning had grown to more than 60 members since it started in October 2007, and while there were people of all ages taking to the water, there was a distinct lack of the male of the species.

“Russ Wade, international sweep and coach, got us started, and now we have people from 15 to 73 involved,” Lonie said.

“It would be great to have more men on the team, so when we have competitions we could have different categories or even an entire all-male team.”

Club event co-ordinator Jacqui Turner said there were about six male members, and generally one or two attended training session.

“We are trying to get more guys involved because they can add speed to the boat,” Turner said.

“Each paddling session goes for an hour and it is a full-body experience because you need endurance, timing and technique, but we also have a bit of fun.”

One of the men 'on board' is Murwillumbah's Dougal Cumming Thom who has been paddling with the team for the past 10 months.

He said his wife originally got him involved and he enjoyed the nature of the sport.

“It is a great physical sport for men as it is very disciplined. Generally when you are seeing teams at a regatta they are highly co-ordinated and extremely fit,” Cumming Thom said.

“A few extra men would make us much more competitive with respect to regattas… at the moment it's like one man versus 16 men, so we are categorised as a mixed team.”

The club currently holds its monthly meetings at the Condong Bowls Club, where theboats are also stored.

Apart from acquiring a new boat - which is coming from China - the club is also aiming to establish its own clubhouse in the near future.

The Mt Warning Dragon Boat Club meets every Tuesday at 5pm (DST) and Saturday at 8am at Condong boat ramp.

People wanting to try the sport can go along for just $5 for the first three paddles. All participants pay an additional $2 each session for boat maintenance. Call Chris Lonie on 0427 815 930.

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