Bradford Student Makes Team GB Dragon Boat Squad
Bradford born student Angus Bell (16) has secured a coveted place on the U24's Great Britain Dragon Boat Squad and will travel to Thailand this August to compete in the Ban Chang District.
A member of Bradford Barracudas Dragon Boat Club, Angus got the bug for the sport when he joined his mum’s work team purely 'to make up numbers' at The Bradford Dragon Boat Festival back in June 2018.
From then Angus (and his mum Alex) have been attending regular training sessions at Doe Park, Denholme and has fully thrust himself into the world of Dragon Boating. Alongside the regular training sessions he joined the rest of the Barracudas team at the BDA National Championships in Nottingham in September helping them achieve gold medals for the scratch team races. It was there at the Nationals that Angus was first approached by the manager of the U18’s and 24’s for Team GB.
Since then Angus and his family have been travelling up and down the country to train with, and try out for, the Great Britain Squad. The trials in Liverpool saw Angus narrowly miss out on a place in the U18 squad but his place in the U24 squad and his subsequent trip to Thailand has just been confirmed by the BDA.
Angus who studies Computer Science at Leeds City College is delighted with the news:
'As my coach says – I'm just taking everything 60 seconds at a time. Training hard and valuing this amazing chance to represent my country.'
Angus' Mum Alex teaches at Southfield Grange School and she explains how much work has gone in to the whole process over the past few months: ‘The level of commitment from the whole family to support Angus is huge, but what a life changing opportunity this is for him, we are so proud of him and what he has achieved. We have received sponsorship from my Uncle’s business in Scotland – JB Engineering - as the U18 and 24’s teams are all self funded'
Angus will now train with the GB U24 Squad once a month and race in BDA race day events all over the country ahead of the trip to Thailand in August.
Fiona Albone - Barracudas Team Captain I am so proud of Angus, one of our youngest members who I have seen develop so much, not only in his paddling ability, but also in confidence. He has used the passion he found for dragon boating last year to train hard and become a fantastic team member in the Bradford Barracudas and now he will go on to represent Team GB in Thailand this summer. What a fantastic achievement this is. We all wish him the best of luck & will be right behind him all the way on his journey.
John Galt – Dragon boat Organiser and Head Coach Angus is a fantastic person and I'm proud to know him. The club are very proud of both Angus and Alex. Angus is a credit to his family and Bradford as a whole. A wonderful individual
Louise Clarke – Coach of The Bradford Barracudas
One of the reasons I got in to coaching was to see people achieve the best they can with the resources given. It is fantastic to see Angus has fully embraced his coaching and taken it to the next level to reach the GB Squad.
Listen to Angus chatting to the local radio stations about his achievements here>>>