Three young members of the Manning River Dragon Boat Club have reached the top level
of their sport, being selected to represent their country in the Australian Dragon Boat
Team, The Aurora’s. Alistair Adamson, Sean Page and Jade Page will travel to China in
August next year to represent Australia at the International Dragon Boat Federation World
Championships, with Alistair and Sean in the Under 18s crews and Jade in the Under 16s
crews. Their families and club are extremely proud, with their selection being testament
to their work ethic and dedication to their sport.
Their success comes following an intensive selection camp at the AIS over the October long
weekend. To reach this level, junior paddlers from across Australia had to undergo fitness
testing, with the best from each state being selected to attend the camp. There they had
a full schedule of fitness testing, assessment of individual techniques, and paddling in
crews with others competing for selection to assess their ability to come together as a
team. The weekend in Canberra was wet and extremely cold paddling on Lake Burley
Griffin, adding another challenge to the selection process. In preparation for the camp,
Alistair, Sean and Jade travelled to Sydney for coaching with Australian Under 16s coach,
Mary Weaver. Mary was very impressed and reported that the Manning juniors performed
particularly strongly during the selection camp.
For Sean, this is his second time in The Aurora’s having been part of the gold medal
winning Under16s team at the previous World Championships in Canada in 2015, whilst
Alistair has been successful in the NSW junior state team winning gold at the past two
Australian Championships. At just 12, Jade is the youngest member of the Under 16s crew
but has already made a strong impression, edging out older paddlers in the selection
process. They now start an even more rigorous fitness and paddling program as well as
travelling regularly to Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra for training over the next year with
the hope of bringing back gold from China.
While the Manning club is excited by this news it has come at a very sad time with the
passing of a much loved member, Gaye Mac Donald. Gaye was one of the inaugural
members of the club, very supportive of the club and a great ambassador for the sport.
Paddlers travelled from Nambucca, Port ,Macquarie, Camden Haven and Great Lakes to
pay respect at the funeral last week. During recent training sessions a memorial paddle
was undertaken to pay respect to a much loved paddler.
Our regional juniors excelled again yesterday, with the Manning paddlers being key to the success.
Firstly, they paddled with Sandy Point in the open juniors. Unfortunately they were the only open team, so they raced as practice for CNY, where there will be lots of teams competing in this category.
In the mixed juniors, our regional paddlers combined with some Sydney Zodiacs paddlers and they looked amazing. In both heats they came in second to the Sydney Zodiacs and they improved with each race. In the final they were actually in front for most of the race, but were passed in the last 50m by Sydney Zodiacs. This was an amazing result as they haven't paddled as a team before and beat teams that regularly train together.
So they have returned with a silver medal and another nice trophy to add to the cabinet. They also had a great time catching up with the many juniors from Sydney clubs. They have made so many great friendships
In summary - it was a great weekend!
I just wanted to let you know that the juniors are travelling to Penrith this weekend to paddle at the NSW State Championships. We are paddling in two categories being:
In addition, Sandy Point have invited us to join them for a training session on Saturday, as we will be paddling with them again at CNY and hopefully at the Aus Champs in Adelaide.
While we are paddling as Waratahs at this regatta we are still having the debate about NSW Zodiacs.
Have a great weekend!
Manning River Dragons have had an exciting few months with 2 Junior Paddlers Sean Page and Sam Thomson Paddling at the World Championships in Canada bringing home 7 Gold and 1 silver medal.
In October 19 of our paddlers joined NSW North Coast Motley Crew and competed at The Australian Masters Games Adelaide coming home with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Was a great time had by all paddlers.
Our Neighbours Pearl Dragons Forster hosted a very successful regatta in November which we competed in Womens and Mixed teams. Manning River Dragons were in great form and hungry to finally win a silver trophy in the Womens final and just missing out on the mixed final.Last weekend Mary Weaver and Tanya White undertook coaching sessions in Taree and they were fantastic! Mary and Tanya were the Australian coaches that worked with Sean and Sam to achieve their success in Canada. They worked with 16 of our club paddlers on Saturday afternoon and 24 juniors/U24/premiers from across NSW for 6 hours on Sunday. The young paddlers travelled from Grafton, Coffs and Armidale to attend the mini-camp; and were accompanied by some of the Sydney paddlers who were also in the Auroras team.
Anyone who attended on Sunday saw the enthusiasm of our young paddlers – they love the sport and the friendships they have made. Also, seeing Mary and Tanya work with the kids was fantastic, they have a great bond with the kids.
Mary and Tanya combined land work with paddling sessions. The techniques and the exercises were great. We all came away with a better understanding of how we can improve our strokes and “move the boat”. By the end of the weekend we were exhausted. Most really felt it in their thighs and struggled to walk the next day.
It was a great success and we would love to follow up with another session next year.
Two of our Juniors Sean Page & Alister Adamson have been selected in the State Team.