THE Cyprus Dragon Boat Association (CYDBA) is very pleased to announce the departure of the national team to the European Championships held in Rome.
This is the first time a team of amateur athletes has represented Cyprus in the sport of Dragon Boating.
There are now 250 members of the Cyprus Dragon Boat association and it could be said that it is the fastest growing sport in Cyprus.
The 29 athletes will compete over three days of highly competitive racing against 18 countries in the 2k endurance race as well as the the 500 and 200 metres.
The Cyprus team was selected through three basic tests all under professional scrutiny. The water test is made up of a single paddler accompanied with helm and a partner to weight balance the boat .
They had to paddle a standard boat (weighing 250 kilos) over 100 metres for the best time. The athletes then had to test how many bench presses could be completed in one minute. After a ten minute rest they tested how many pull ups on the bar could be achieved in one minute.
45 people entered the evaluation contest but only 29 made the criteria and have now experienced intense training to crystallise synchronization techniques and raise their standard of physical fitness to a competitive level.
The team has been fully funded by the CYDBA through events, challenges, fundraising and very welcome sponsor donations. All sponsors believe in a sense of corporate social responsibility and the development of sport for all in Cyprus.
The team has enjoyed the professional support of sports dietitian Stephanie Piper, sports phycologist Eleanor Tanou and full-time team manager Ivan Savic. This support has added a new dimension to training.
The uniform and racing kit was designed by the award-winning Limassol based designer Natalie Mailaili. The design was chosen against three other designers via a Facebook vote.
“I feel so very proud to represent my country and wear this uniform, it’ the chance of a lifetime,” said team member Simon Hill.