There are few things that say summer in the Comox Valley quite the same as venturing out on the water.
Each Monday evening, youth from across the Comox Valley are doing just that as they head out to practise with their dragon boat team, The Dragon Riders. Perhaps you’ve heard their drum beat? Or maybe you’ve heard of their growing success?
Dragon boating is a great sport. Many youth find that it is an effective way to cross-train or stay in shape for winter sports activities. Others enjoy taking part in a team sport where there are no individual stars, simply a committed team having fun while working out together.
And yet the Dragon Riders are out for more than fun. Over the course of each season, the team develops into a racing force to be reckoned with. Under the training of skilled coaches and fully qualified tillers, the Dragon Riders have been known to post some of the fastest times in the races that they enter.
Last June, at Race the River in Campbell River, the Dragon Riders took gold with the fastest time of the day. This was accomplished in a field of competitors with considerably more experience.
This summer, the Dragon Riders are planning to enter three races. This weekend, they hope to defend their title at Race the River. In August, they will compete at home in Comox during Nautical Days. In the early fall, they may been seen flying across the waters of Sprout Lake.
It has taken a village to raise up this team. The idea for a youth team came out of the Prevailing Wins, a competitive mature mixed team in the Comox Valley. A desire to mentor youth birthed the creation and sponsorship of the Dragon Riders Youth Team in the spring of 2012. Prevailing Wins continues to provide regular support to the Dragon Riders. The strong relationship between the two teams has proved to be mutually beneficial over time.
Support for the Dragon Riders also comes from the business community. The Investors Group recognizes the valuable returns that can be gained from empowering youth. They recently renewed their sponsorship of the team by presenting another cheque for $500 through True Sport. Other local sponsors who help to make this team accessible and successful are Lafarge Canada-Cumberland office and the Comox Bay Marina.
Youth ages 13-19 who are looking for an inclusive, positive sport to take part in this summer are invited to consider joining the Dragon Riders. You don’t need any experience, just an eagerness to try hard and a willingness to commit.
Practices are held at the Comox Marina early on Monday evenings. Come give it a try. The cost is only $20 for the season. All equipment is provided. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org