MBLers at London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2015

MBLers at London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2015


28th June 2015 – MBL joined in again for this year’s London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. The event was busier than ever, held at the London Regatta Center at the newly regenerated Royal Albert Docks. This time round for MBL there were 23 enthusiastic paddlers taking part in what became a fiercely competitive day.

MBL’s participation at London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2015, on the one hand, MBL wants to show the support to the sharing of traditional Hong Kong/Chinese culture in the UK, and on the other hand MBL aims to raise funds for MBL “Books For Kids”project to build up children libraries at poor countryside schools and orphanages in China. All the funds MBL raised from Dragon Boat Racing will be for “Book For Kids” project and also for MBL’s operations.

It started off as a hectic morning. There were numerous different teams ranging from the professional dragon boat teams, charities like MBL to delegates from corporations like PwC and even the Chinese Embassy. Though this was a charity race, the MBL team knew it was going to be an exciting day.

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The MBLers set up in the tents next to East-West Festival. It was a great position as the music played whilst the teams slowly built up. Eventually by half past nine, everyone had arrived and they were ready to paddle.



When everyone was arriving, MBL Dragon Boat team captain Xiaoli gave welcoming words and briefed the team for the upcoming exciting races.



Then the Chinese Consular from the Chinese Embassy, Mr JIN Xu came to visit MBL Dragon Boat team and gave a motivational speech, and everyone had listened in intently and was energised by Mr JIN Xu’s words. 


From hearing Mr Jin Xu’s words, the MBL Team were ready to get started with training & safety briefing session.


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After the training & safety briefing session, MBL team moved to the fields near the team tents, and organised themselves and practiced the paddling manoeuvres. Everyone paddled in rhythm and seemed highly confident. One keen volunteer said, “The team are nicely synchronised, we can do well if we stay focused.”

The MBL team know that because the race would be so competitive, it would be challenging to win the charity league. A calm volunteer said, “Winning isn’t important. We’re here to have fun and do our part to show the great work that MBL does. That’s all that matters!”

Soon, the team were ready to move to the Dragon Boats. Before they did a trained expert showed them on the best way to paddle as a team. The support given by Festival organisers was fantastic. They gave helpful advice and ensured the team’s safety.


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The first race started in a blitz! Whilst the MBL team did fantastically, the other teams were even better. It was a fiercely competitive race. Right after paddling one MBLer commented, “It’s fun, everyone is excited but it’s also tough. We have to work really hard if we want to improve our time. We have the right attitude, we just need to make sure we work together!”.

For the second race the weather had decided to change. The calm and cloudy morning had evolved into a sudden rain. The MBL team were soaked but they showed their resolve by paddling against all opposition. A determined MBLer puffed, “We have to keep practicing and get better before the last race. We know we can do it!”.


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By the time the second race had finished, the MBL team were able to relax for a little while whilst the rain subsided. The East-West Festival next to the team’s tent had an eclectic mix of entertainment for the many visitors that had come to see the races. The MBLers took the opportunity to enjoy themselves as well!



After their momentary respite, the team knew what they had to do. It was time for the final race and they were ready to for the last paddle. The race had begun and finished with a flourish. Though the other teams paddled hard and kept the MBL team at the back, the MBLers never gave up!


As a result of their hard work the MBL team had achieved a fantastic time. This was a massive 15-second improvement over last year. Thanks to their efforts the MBL team went to 8th place and beat two other teams from Charity Teams and one team from the Open Teams. One proud volunteer said, “It was great to take part in the team for MBL, we did really well to beat our result from last year. It’s all due to our team spirit, let’s do even better next year!”



The MBL team proved to everyone that they were able to rise above the challenge. It was truly a great day and a fantastic moment for MBL! Well done the MBL paddlers, volunteers and everyone who was involved! Thanks for those who supported each paddlers to raise funds for MBL “Books For Kids”project to build up children libraries at poor countryside schools and orphanages in China!



Drafted by Asif Hussain ( )   Edited by Xiaoli