College Dragon Boat team raises money in honour of former lecturer

24th September 2021

A team of staff from Stratford-upon-Avon College have raised over £1,600 for The Shakespeare Hospice by competing in the hospice’s annual Dragon Boat race.

In a dragon boat race, crews of up to 17 people sit in pairs and paddle to compete in races over distances of around 250m, with each boat having a drummer beating time to keep the paddlers in unison.

The team, made up of staff from the College’s Performing & Production Arts and Music department (SUAC Onstage), wanted to raise money for the hospice in honour of Matthew Warburton, a former Acting lecturer at the College who sadly passed away in October 2020.

Warburton’s Warriors team captain, Claire Morley, reflected on why the team were keen to take part: “Matt was a long serving member of staff and Staff Governor at the College and would have loved to have participated in this race. The Shakespeare Hospice showed Matthew and his family compassion and care and this is why we are supporting this wonderful organisation.”

The team practised ahead of the race when time allowed around their busy teaching schedule, even setting up a mock boat to practice timing and rhythm in the College’s Willows Theatre.

When race day arrived, Matthew’s wife and daughter were in attendance to cheer the team on. The practise sessions paid off and the team performed heroically in their three races, with a best time of 01 min 21.61 secs.

The College is delighted to have helped raise money for such a worthy cause. If you’d still like to donate, you can do so via the Shakespeare Hospice website.

Warburton’s Warriors giving it their all in boat #2.