Triple medal success for GB dragon boat paddlers
Two UCLan staff have won three bronze medals at the European Dragon Boat Championships
A trio of bronze medals was the reward for two University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) staff who represented Great Britain at the European Dragon Boat Championships.
Ian Carrie and Tony Dickson, who competed in the Senior A category (over 40s) at the EDBF Championships in Spain, won medals in all three events they competed in – the 200m and 500m sprints and a 2km pursuit race.
The duo, who are both senior staff within UCLan’s Learning and Technical Resources’ team, was part of a 14 strong squad which pushed Germany and Italy hard in the 200m sprint, while the team had to dig deep in the 500m race to fend off Sweden and gain a place on the podium.
Throughout the 2km event, tactics came into play on the winding course as the team was picked via a ballot to start second to last. Overtaking and gaining the racing line on bends was essential to the team’s success.
"It’s taken a long time to get to this stage, so it was a very proud moment when the medals were put around our necks and there were a few tears shed"— Ian Carrie
Ian, a 52-year-old from Penwortham, said: “We were determined to represent our country and to wear the Team GB kit and to achieve that was amazing but winning three bronze medals was an added bonus.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this stage, so it was a very proud moment when the medals were put around our necks and there were a few tears shed.”
Tony, 47, from Tarleton, commented: “We certainly punched above our weight to win three bronze medals and that makes me even more proud of what we achieved as a team. It really shows what you can do with hard work, determination and a great team ethic.”
They got into dragon boat racing when they were part of a UCLan Learning and Information Services team which competed in the UK Corporate Games when it was held in Preston in 2012. They competed in a number of future Corporate Games and Preston City Games while they also raced for the UCLan Confucius Institutes. During this time they picked up a few victories, medals and trophies.
"We certainly punched above our weight to win three bronze medals and that makes me even more proud of what we achieved as a team"— Tony Dickson
They went on to train with a newly formed team in Preston, called the Preston Dragons, but after a few years moved to a Liverpool-based team called Amathus to work with experienced coaches who had paddled for, and coached, Team GB.
Their training was hit by Covid-19 but their determination to succeed and be in peak physical condition meant they continued to train with the team doing Zoom personal training sessions in their garages and undertaking regular individual training in converted racing kayaks.
This year's event was due to take place in Kyiv but was moved to the Olympic Rowing venue in Banyoles, Catalonia, for safety.
Ian added: “It’s been a massive commitment to train for such an event and thankfully that hard work has paid off with the medals but it’s meant we’ve had to sacrifice time with our families and fit training round full-time jobs.
“We’re going to take a year off, as we achieved what we set out to achieve, and then see what happens.”