Henley Dragons’ member Lubna Hameed is completing the Snowdon Challenge in Wales this weekend to raise much needed funds for the Eyot Centre, the home of Henley Dragons in memory of her Dad who passed away in 2018.
The Snowdon Challenge is a a 17km cycle, 14km trek and 5km paddle and Lubna will be joined by fellow Henley Dragons, Sarah Burgess and Clare Anderson. She’s been training by going to boot camps in the park to build her fitness up, cycling and canoeing and kayaking practice at the Eyot Centre.
Lubna said, “I walked through the Eyot Centre doors 2 years ago feeling like the newbie, feeling unsure of myself and scared of open water. When my Dad sadly passed away within a month of being diagnosed with Cancer, my faith, my direction, my world and everything in it came crashing down.”
The Eyot Centre is home to the Henley Dragon Boat Racing Team, Henley Canoe Club and DofE. It is a centre which promotes youth development, wellbeing and fitness through paddle sports. The centre itself can be hired out by anyone for events and functions.
Lubna added, “Through joining Henley Dragons I’ve been pushed to challenge myself and encouraged to believe in myself. All of this has helped me get back up on my feet – I will always be grateful to them for giving me that! I’ve made life long friends. I’ve started to like who I am again. Getting out in the dragon boat and smashing that paddle in the water makes me feel alive. I still have my wobbles, but life doesn’t seem as scary any more. Henley Dragons have become my second family.”
“My best friend, my Dad, always taught me to be the best I can be. To give back generously, to help where you could, to always show respect and kindness to one another, regardless of someones age, gender, race or faith and to always challenge yourself. He would always tell me to be brave. He would invest his time in youth development; whether it be through sport, social activities or faith. I would have loved for him to see me race in a dragon boat, he would have been so proud. Sometimes when we paddle, I imagine him watching on the river banks with a beaming smile. I miss him every single day.”
“Henley Dragons has become such a major part of my life, it’s been my light in darker times. I want to give other people the opportunities to reap the social, physical and mental benefits of being part of a team sport. There is nothing more healing than being on the water with friends.”
To donate and support Lubna’s challenge go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lubna-hameed-eyotcentre-henleydragons