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OBBC (Oxford Bangladeshi Boat Club) was established 2008,

Oxford Bangladeshi Boat Club


OBBC (Oxford Bangladeshi Boat Club) was established 2008, to involve the Oxford Bangladeshi Community to participate in the River based recreation and sport activities, came from awareness that the Bangladeshi homeland is river-rich estuary land, with a great deal of its culture related to river and famous river festivals.

Falcon Boat Club has invited members of Oxford Asian Community to their Riverside meadow to picnic and try boating for some years. This was done by setting a net work of interested parties seeking support from local river based boat clubs and Bangladeshi Community networks including Oxfordshire Bangladeshi Association (OBA). OBBC joined the BCU, and the first Bangladeshi Nowka Bais (Boat Race) held outside Bangladesh with Bangladeshi made boat was founded in Oxford on the upper Thames River.

The children of Bangladeshi community in Oxford have a new cultural link with their parent’s roots and OBBC have a new, most welcome, addition for everyone.

Histry of Bangladeshi Boat culture:

Boat Race is called Nowka Bais in Bangladesh. This race demonstrates the boatmen's technique and paddling, giving their boats the maximum speed. In national boat race, the boats have to cover a distance of

300 to 650 meter. Each boat can be manned by 15, 25, 50 or 100 persons.

Rivers form an integral part of Bangladeshi history, tradition, literature, culture and sports. Boat race consequently, is an important element of folk culture. Rivercrafts help create ports and markets requiring the services of expert carpenters, who are often found to compete in skills in making boats. Different districts have different types of boat. In DHAKA, GAFFARGAON and MYMENSINGH kosha type of boats are mostly used 

for racing. These boats are narrow in shape and can be as long as 50 to 200 feet. Their front and back are straight. SYLHET sharengi boats are used for racing. During the Race, the Boatmen sing chorus to seek blessings. The boats are named attractively, proclaiming their speed or design, for example, the Jhorer pakhi(bird of the storm)Ponkhiraj (the king of bird),Mayur pankhi and Sonar Tori (golden boat). Before starting the race, boat man purifies them and were traditional dress called Lunghi and tie up colorful Gamsa around the head. The captain (team leader) stands in the front middle. The drummers and the singers provide beatand tempo to the boatmen.

Boat race is held annually in the monsoon season around June, July and August in Bangladesh.

OBBC (Oxford Bangladeshi Boat club) have their Boat Race in Oxford every year in the summer holiday period when the weather is nice and worm.

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Rowing the Bangladeshi Boat at the River

Young people between the age ranges of 10 to 16 years are invited with their parents to try the Boat at the river with the help of  Falcon and OBBC(Oxford Bangladeshi Boat Club) Volunteers. M A Mannan is the 

founder of ‘’Surma Youth Club’’ he started the club in 2004 at the union street youth centre science then the Surma club made lots of progress. Special emphasis is given to the cultural, linguistic and emotional 

well being of young people and they are encouraged to talk about any issues concerning them. Over the years young people’s group has made various educational and sporting trips outside Oxfordshire. Recently 

they visited House of Commons, Bangladesh High commission and Science Museum in London.

In the summer time between May and September OBBC made the Boat available for the local member of the community and young people to use on Sunday and Tuesday every week.


For outing and further information

Contact, Anamul Haque: 07795104786.

Or Md Ansar Ali: 07961716270.


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Cultural Events:

OBBC is pleased to hold a Bangladeshi Boat Race every year at the River Thames in Oxford with novice crews coming from other cities to watch and take part. A river bank party with music, families and food with 

a grand prize giving will round out the day.

BCU Support

The national governing body of canoeing has accepted OBBC as a full associated club. This is the very first Asian community club to gain association with the BCU (British Canoeing Union).

According to OBBC chairman Peter Travis ‘’The River Thames, as it passes through Oxford, offers the people of the city many delights. In the nineteenth century, it became a place of sport and recreation. Rowing and boating clubs sprung up from the town and the university. Now we brought a new type of boating to the Thames, which itself has Great River estuaries of Bangladeshi Nowka  Bais conoes are workboats; during the wet seasons, after the harvest, the same boat are part of great river celebrations with races for young and old. Now, with the support of the local English river communities, these boats have come to Oxford. Having seen whole family on the water and great skill of Bangladeshi boatman, a mutual respect has grown between 

the Oxford’s traditional river users and the waterman & women of Bangladesh. The Thames has a new colorful and skilled community enjoying its waters- long may they do so.’’    

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Contact us

Regal Centre

Regal Community Centre
Ridgefield Road
Oxford, OX4 3BY.
Telephone/Fax:01865 450292

« February 2018 »