In just two years, our very own Shai Moghul has gone from a paddler in the Thames to competing in the GB Dragon Boat Senior A Team.
A member of the Kingston Royals Dragon Boat Club, Shai has been training hard, racing dragon boats between Teddington Lock and Hampton Court at the weekends, while teaching her Mathematics A Level classes at Esher during the week. Dragon Boating involves teams of up to 20 paddlers, a drummer and a helm, racing up to speeds of 20km per hour on the water.
In March, Shai qualified for a seat in the GB Team and in August she went to Thailand to compete at the World Championships in the open 1km, 200m and 500m categories. She says, “We didn’t place, but we came very close! The margins in the races are very slim, and we competed against nations that have well-established, and well-funded infrastructures of training.
“Being at the racing site was the most tremendous experience. It was like being in the middle of the Olympic village, surrounded by athletes from around the world. I took part in both the opening and closing ceremonies and I have found friendships that will last a lifetime. Being part of the Senior A GB team has pushed me to stretch the boundaries of what I think my body is capable of doing. I’ve discovered power, strength, focus and discipline that I didn’t know I had.”