Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Territory dragon boaters paddle their way to world championships

It will be fire on water when a strong Northern Territory contingent takes to their paddles in Aussie colours this month.

Six Territorians will be part of the Australian team at the 2015 International Dragon Boat Federation World Nations Championship at Welland, Canada, and they’ve been assisted to make their way there with a $7000 Quick Response grant from the Northern Territory Government.

“Dragon boating is quite a popular sport in the Top End, and it’s great to see that six members of our own local Darwin club the Arafura Dragons have been chosen among the best paddlers in Australia,” Sport and Recreation Minister Gary Higgins said.

“The Government is very pleased to assist these paddlers to compete against the best in the world, and I know they’ll represent Australia, and of course the Northern Territory, with pride.”

Dragon boating is thought to have started in Southern China and the sport is more than 2000 years old. A competition dragon boat team contains 20 paddlers, a drummer and sweep (steerer).

Arafura Dragons coach Alan Culbertson will be part of the Australian team, and is proud that the Darwin outfit will contribute six members to the national effort.

“It’s a fantastic result for the Northern Territory and we’re hoping the Australian teams will repeat the podium successes which have been achieved in the past,” he said.

The Territory representatives will paddle for Australia in four different team categories as follows;

Junior Under 16 - Thomas Rehrmann

Premier - Tadek Rudz

Senior B – Colin McDonald (Sweep), Tammy Culbertson, Willi Rothlisberger

Senior C – Alan Culbertson

Quick Response grants assist individual Territorians and teams in their endeavours to achieve nationally and internationally both on the field and off.

Quick Response grants also provide assistance for organisations to quickly attend to unforeseeable expenses and maximise opportunities that need immediate funding.

For more information on Department of Sport and Recreation grants go to


Media Contact:

Lorelei Fong Lim, 0400 165 743