A FORMER Ruthin pupil is getting ready to paddle 'furiously' after being selected to represent Great Britain in the 14th World Dragon Boat Racing Championships.

Holly Slater, 19, will be flying the Welsh flag ‘whenever possible’ when she competes in the championships in Thailand next month.

Holly, of Ruthin, who attended Ysgol Brynhyfryd School, is studying for a BSc in Zoology at Bangor University.

She said: “I have always been a keen swimmer having been a member of Ruthin Rays Swimming Club for a number of years and have represented Denbighshire County and my school at National and Urdd swimming events.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Holly, of Ruthin, will be flying the Welsh Flag

“Through my involvement with Bangor University Swimming Club, I have developed an interest in Dragon Boat racing.

“I am currently training three times a week in Liverpool and competing in UK wide competitions.”

The world championships will take place between August 20 and 25.

Holly's father Gary Slater, who is married to Nicky, said that organisers estimate the total cost - to include accommodation, flights and living expenses - will be in the region of £2000.

Participants have to buy their own kit.

"She got involved last September when she went to Bangor University," Gary said. 

"She is having some late nights training. She didn't get back in until 11.45pm the other evening so was exhausted, but nothing is worth having if you don't put the work in. 

"She had to do a series of tests to make sure she was up to the standard. 

"I was amazed at the intensity of it. 

"We are extremely proud of her. My wife and I are delighted for her."

To raise funds, Holly is working part time at Ysgol Pen Barras and is seeking further jobs during the summer months.

She added: “Its a great honour to be selected for the GB team and while Wales are not represented as an individual country at the World Championships, I will be flying the Welsh flag where ever possible.”

A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft. The Dragon Boat is embedded in China’s ‘Dragon’ culture, with each boat having an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow and a tail in the stern.

To donate, search for Holly Slater at gofundme.com