Midland Sailing Club will be running free sailing tasters as part of its support for one of the most successful Bangladeshi events in the UK, which is anchoring itself in Birmingham this year.
Community Connect Foundation in partnership with Legacy WM, Midland SC and the Canal and River Trust are bringing the seventh national Nowka Bais (pronounced 'Nouka Baich') to Edgbaston Reservoir on Sunday 9 August 2015.
Nowka Bais is the traditional sport of dragon style boat racing in rural villages of Bangladesh and reflects many of the customs of the country.
And as part of the celebrations and family-orientated activities taking place on the day at Edgbaston, Midland SC, through its commitment to widening access to sailing, will be offering visitors the chance to try the sport for free!
The Nowka Bais is the brainchild of Oxford businessman Aziz-ur Rahman.
Jan Kimber, from Midland SC, said "We are delighted this exciting event is coming to Birmingham and honoured to be involved with it. As sailors we love every kind of water sport, but this will be unique! On the day we will be offering visitors the chance to come out with experienced sailors for a free taster session, and hope some people will want to learn to sail and join our club."
In 2007 the county of Oxfordshire celebrated its 1,000th anniversary and as part of its celebration a festival of the waterways was organised.
One of the highlights and for many the most thrilling event of all was a race between two Bangladeshi canoes, or Nowka Bais, along the River Thames. Each canoe was 40ft long, painted bright red, white, yellow and green, with an eight man crew also dressed in dazzling colours, paddling furiously to the beat of the drummer in the prow of the boat.
The Nowka Bais was a great success and since 2007, has gone from strength to strength, becoming an annual event in the Bangladeshi cultural calendar attracting thousands of people from all over the UK.
This will be the largest Nowka Bais held to date and will bring the city's communities together to experience Bangladeshi culture. It will provide a diverse, multicultural experience with a fun and sociable environment for all those who attending.
There will be children's rides, a bazaar with clothing, jewellery, craft stalls as well as Bangladeshi street food and live music. It is a day for the whole family to enjoy and watch the authentic Bangladeshi long boats carry the bold teams who are prepared to compete for the coveted title of Nowka Bais UK champions.
Johur Uddin, Chief Executive of Community Connect Foundation added "This is a very traditional sport in Bangladesh and is influenced by the waterways which are an important element of Bangladeshi life. Nowka Bais is a joyous, colourful, lively event in Bangladesh and it is a joy seeing it being brought Birmingham."
Aziz-Ur Rahman, Founder Nowka Bais UK, added: "This traditional Bangladeshi event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the success of the British Bangladeshi community. Britain is home to nearly half a million British nationals of Bangladeshi heritage, a community renowned for its fusion of culture and its impact on the British culinary tastes."
For more information about Nowka Bais visit www.nowkabais.co.uk or for details about Midland Sailing Club, including contact details and getting there, visit www.midlandsailingclub.org.uk