Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 09:00
Dragon boat racing is both a physical and cultural experience.
Dragon boat racing is both a physical and cultural experience.

They are four University of Queensland colleagues who are not simply happy with training their dragon. They want to make it one of the fastest in the world.

Rick Lambe, Kirsten Adlard, Alistair Mallard and Hamish McGorm from the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences are deep in training for the state dragon boat titles.

“The ideal goal is to qualify for the World Club Crew Championships in Hong Kong in 2018,” says Mr Lambe, a member of Faculty professional staff.

“To reach that point we need to come in the best four boats at the national championships later this year.”

The quartet all dip their oars with the Brisbane River Dragons, a club which has been in existence since 1998, based at Bulimba.

Training requires four-to-five sessions a week on the water, along with the same number of sessions on dry land, either on an indoor rowing machine or by undergoing strength training in the gym.

While Lambe – who describes himself as “50-something” competes in the Masters division, the other three members are in the Premier squad (under 40s).

Kirsten Adlard is 24, studying a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical exercise oncology and was previously an elite level rower.

She says she enjoys the welcoming atmosphere of the club and the fact that training is not at 4am when other rowers typically hit the water.

Clubmate Hamish McGorm is 25, studying a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical exercise physiology, with a focus on the effects of hydrotherapy after resistance training.

Similar to Kirsten, he participates for the camaraderie. 

Rounding out the group is Alistair Mallard, 27, also studying a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical exercise physiology.

“I like dragon boats because they are something completely different to what I have done before,” Mr Mallard says.

“I have competed at a high level in several sports previously and I enjoy both the physical and mental challenge of dragon boating.”

The Dragon Boat Queensland titles will be held at Bucca, near Bundaberg, on February 27-28.

Adelaide will host the national championships on March 23-28, and the 2016 World Club Crew Championships on April 1-7.

Media: Rick Lambe, r.lambe@uq.edu.au , +61 7 3365 6437.