Staff and students raising awareness of the benefits that getting out on the water with a team can bring.

Making a Splash: Staff and Students Start Setting up Dragon Boat Academy

11 December 2020

Dearne Valley College may soon have its very own dragon boat academy in partnership with Manvers Boathouse and Lake. Staff and students from both the College and Manvers have been talking to College classes, raising awareness of some of the many physical and mental wellbeing benefits that getting out on the water with a team can bring.

Trevor Coldron works with both the College and Manvers, facilitating student participation in its many sporty opportunities. The boathouse also provides access to its lake for the College’s Public Service and Sport students to use.

Trevor said: “The aim is to form a college-based dragon boat team to race against other colleges. Being part of a team, socialising and exercising outdoors is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved.

“Dragon boats originated in China. We train without a head or tail; when you have that it’s called ‘dressing’ it. Each boat has 20 paddlers, a drummer and a helm. We can also race 12-person boats.

“With restrictions on international travel, we’ve also found people rediscovering gems on their doorstep. At our club, we now have 1,500 members, up from 800 last year.

“Whether it’s sport or a leisurely walk around the lake and stop at our café, there’s plenty to do to help your physical and mental health.”

Level 2 Public Services student Blake Mawson-Burren has also been speaking to students about the exciting opportunities on offer at the lake by taking part in one of the many available water-based activities at their site.

It is a perfect environment for the determined student, who is the paddleboarding Quadrathlon national champion and plans on helping lead the upcoming academy’s activities.

Blake said: “It’d be a great success for the College to have a presence in this exciting sport – the door is completely open to anyone who wants to join.

Blake added: “It’s brilliant to help show the rest of the students at College how they can get involved with outdoor activities, especially at a time like this with everything going on.

“I just hope to see more fresh faces turning up and getting stuck in with any of our water-based sports.”

Interested in joining?

Contact Trevor Coldron via email at  to register your interest. Training sessions are every Sunday morning from 10.00am – 12.00pm, and you’re more than welcome to visit and check out the activities.


Find out more about our Sport and Public Services courses.

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