’Dark horse’ Manchester team win Confucius Institutes’ Dragon Boat Race

The Manchester Confucius Institute team have won the Northwest Confucius Institutes’ Dragon Boat Race hosted in Liverpool on 27 April.

This is the first time the Manchester CI team managed to bring home the first prize in the competition’s ten-year history.

30 students and staff from the University of Manchester joined the racing team and competed against four other Confucius Institutes in the Northwest: Liverpool, Lancaster, Lancashire and Edge Hill.

After four races, the Manchester CI team came first with a time of two minutes and four seconds.

None of our language teachers had done dragon boat race before but everyone had a go at the race. It was great teamwork, and we are so pleased to have won the race on this occasion.


Dragon boat racing has been a traditional Chinese paddled watercraft activity for over 2000 years and began as a modern international sport in Hong Kong in 1976. For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails.

For races, there are 18-20 people in a standard boat, and 8-10 in a small boat, not including the steersperson and the drummer.