Mowbray dragon boat paddler Craig Binns was made to feel at home by the state team on Sunday, despite being the only member from the Launceston region.
The Tasmanian Dragon Boat travelled up from Hobart to complete a training session on the North Esk River to recognise his induction into the squad.
Binns became the first member of North Esk Dragon Boat Club to be selected for state duty in five years, after impressing at the trials in Hobart during November.
He said making it on to the team had been a goal of his for a while.
“I had tried out once before, but couldn’t make the time commitment required for training,” he said.
“I’m pretty stoked to make it this time around.”
The 45-year-old is well known within Launceston’s dragon boating community, having taken over as president of the North Esk club in 2017.
He will head to Queensland next weekend with the rest of the state team for the Australian National Dragon Boat Championships. More than 3000 paddlers will converge on Lake Kawana for the annual event, which is held at a different location each year.
Having competed at the Masters Games at Lake Barrington in October, Binns said he was again looking forward to racing against the country’s best.
“It’s great to just be a part of a competition like this,” he said.
“There is a real sense of camaraderie within the state team, which I enjoy.”
State team coach Donna Fittock said this year’s championships were being held ahead of schedule in order to “showcase the sport of dragon boating to Commonwealth Games officials.”