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The Lensbury returned to the Kingston Rotary Club Dragon Boat Challenge on the weekend, with the event celebrating its 21st event and this being it’s biggest yet! Dragon boat racing is a brilliant way of building team cohesion and bringing people together for one goal, who otherwise may not have crossed paths, whilst also raising money for brilliant local charities and causes, with our focus this year being The Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital.

The two team which we entered, a ladies team (Lensbury Lionesses) and a mixed team (Lensbury Alphas), had been training hard in the run up to the huge event with weekly training sessions led by our wonderful Watersports team. Training took place every Tuesday evening over the past few months, lead by our watersports team come rain or shine with a consistently brilliant turn out.

Our team travelled down together from the Lensbury to Canbury Gardens along the river, after a light breakfast provided by our brilliant kitchen team back at the club. With some time before their first races, everyone was sure to check out the festival-esque atmosphere resulting from the over 50 teams racing and plenty of supporters coming down to watch the spectacle. With briefings done and the teams race ready, both of our teams began the day with an initial race against each other in the inaugural heats! With no difference at all between them (both teams crossing the line in a speedy 00:51.11!), it would take a further 2 rounds of racing for our competitors to find their rhythm and see who would come out fastest. Our mixed team narrowly missed out on the final, despite some great consistency in their above average times, however the lionesses pulled out a personal best 00:48.00 on their final run which saw them storm into the final.

With the riverside packed out with the crowds that had turned out for the brilliant day, our ladies made sure to put on a show in the final race. Another outstanding performance ensured that they returned to the Lensbury with the women’s trophy and gold medals around their necks, a sight which is becoming all too familiar for the back to back champions following a brilliant shift at the 2022 event. Speaking after the win, Lensbury Lionesses team captain Rosalind Garry said ‘Its brilliant to bring the trophy back to The Lensbury after all the hard work we’ve been putting in behind the scenes over the last few months! The ladies gave it their all and we’re so pleased after such a competitive event, bring on next year!’.

Lensbury Lionesses lift the Kingston Rotary Club Dragon Boat Challenge Women’s Trophy for a second year in a row (2022 & 2023 Champions)

A huge thanks to all of the team members for their commitment, both members and staff, who put in a great deal of effort into making sure we were best prepared for this event. Special mention to Callum, our Watersports Manager, for organizing the team in the build up and on the day.

Qualifying timings

Race 1 Race 2  Race 3
Lensbury Alphas (mixed) 00:51.11 00:51.91 00:50.31
Lensbury Lionesses (ladies) 00:51.11 00:53.46 00:48.00


Our Charity – The Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital

The Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital has been a recognised registered charity since 1954 and has been providing essential support for the patients, staff and our local community ever since. The money raised by this brilliant local charity has gone towards enhancing the facilities, services and overall improvements made to Teddington Memorial Hospital, which we would overwise go without with it going above the standard NHS funded baseline. Since the charity’s creation almost 70 years ago, over £8 million has been raised so far and put directly back into the maintaining of this brilliant local facility located in the heart of the community. The charity’s latest project switches its attention to the hospital grounds, with the building and creation of a wellbeing garden for use by patients, families and staff members.

Want to learn more about our charity of the year?

The Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital

Find out more
Teddington Memorial Hospital – 2