Dragon boating is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing team sports, with more than 50 million participants worldwide, and more than 250,000 in Western Canada alone.
Despite massive interest in the sport on Vancouver Island, however, access to quality coaching, training programs and equipment has been extremely limited for many Island paddlers.
That is until now.
The Valley is home to seven members of VIPaddling’s Gorging Dragons (GD’s), a high-performance competitive dragon boat team that qualified at Nationals in June of 2015 to compete at the World Club Crew Dragon Boat Championships in Adelaide, Australia in April of 2016.
VIPaddling has introduced this season a Winter Maintenance Training program at Comox Lake intended to provide the high level of training needed by these athletes as well as to provide high intensity weekly coaching by a nationally certified coach for those paddlers interested in helping to take their teams to the next level of performance.
Paddlers from several Comox Valley teams including Hope Afloat, Prevailing Wins, Blazing Paddles, Dragonflies, as well as Nanaimo’s Mid-Island Masters have taken advantage of this winter program to hone their skills in preparation for next season.
Whenever you have more than one boat you have a competition. There are two boats being used for training, a 20-person national standard BuK and a 10-person Champion newly arrived from Victoria, allowing for flexibility in training.
Until the end of March seats are still available on a drop-in basis. Any interested paddlers eager for a pre-season technical tune-up can contact Andrea Keenan (VI Paddling North Island director and coach) at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vipaddling.com