Bit By The Dragon: Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Membership Looking for Members

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The Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Membership needs you to affix them. 

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The membership, based in 2017, noticed a decline in membership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now they’re actively making an attempt to get extra individuals within the sport and to affix. 

We simply find it irresistible,” Sherry Dykes, Program Director. “It’s a beautiful strategy to join with individuals, study the game, and also you’ve additionally bought the camaraderie together with your teammates. We’re on a giant membership drive. We’re recruiting like loopy.“ 

Dykes began paddling with the membership final yr after stumbling throughout a portray of a dragon boat in an artwork gallery in Wabamun. She began speaking with one of many workers on the gallery and was thrilled to study that Parkland County had their very own dragon boat racing membership. One factor led to a different and Dykes “completely fell in love with the game and the individuals.” 

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Nevertheless, it wasn’t Dykes’ first time encounter with the game.  

“My aunt is an avid dragon boater out of Vancouver. She’s been in it for a really very long time, and so I’ve all the time been conscious of it,” defined Dykes. “I’ve all the time form of identified what it was about extra so as a result of she was a breast most cancers survivor and she or he was paddling with the breast most cancers boat.” 

Vancouver, B.C. has all the time been a focus within the historical past of dragon boat racing in Canada. It was the situation of the primary breast most cancers consciousness racing membership, Abreast in a Boat, and likewise the place the place dragon boat racing first occurred in Canada. In the course of the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, also called Expo 86, six boats had been despatched from Hong Kong to Vancouver and boating demonstrations had been held. Quickly it could go on to unfold throughout the nation and see the creation of many golf equipment together with Dragon Boat Canada, the official governing physique for the game within the nation. The Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Membership is a member. 

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Membership to the Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Membership is open to anybody over the age of eight years previous and so they have had members of their seventies too. The membership additionally affords three completely different ranges of participation relying on what kind of dedication you’re searching for.

The Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Club (in front) attended Nationals in Regina in 2019. Dragon boat racing tournaments are called festivals. (Submitted by Sherry Dykes)
The Parkland Dragon Boat Racing Membership (in entrance) attended Nationals in Regina in 2019. Dragon boat racing tournaments are known as festivals. (Submitted by Sherry Dykes)

The degrees embrace: Snap Dragons as the extent one staff. They paddle about as soon as per week over ten classes and often attend one pageant. Water Warriors are the extent two staff. They paddle twice per week and their season stretches from round 10 weeks to 12 or 15 relying on the group. They’ll often attend two to 3 festivals. Lastly, Mom of Dragons is the extent three staff and so they paddle 3 times per week with yr spherical coaching. This staff is the one principally more likely to attend nationals. 

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“The three ranges are actually about dedication and exercise like how a lot we wish to train after which how a lot we wish to take part regionally and nationally,” defined Cheryl Roose, coach. Roose can be the membership’s founder and previous president and is a world medal winner having competed on the world stage.

The membership was invited to attend nationals final yr, however couldn’t attend as a result of they didn’t have sufficient individuals to make a staff. Nevertheless, they’ve received many awards through the years together with gold in Leduc and Regina in 2018, gold in Montana in 2019, and silver in Lethbridge in 2019.

The membership is hopeful they’ll get the ball rolling on memberships this yr to allow them to take a look at going to nationals once more.  

“We’re calling it a rebuilding yr. Now we have member paddles deliberate which consists of ten weeks, one evening per week or 5 weeks one evening per week relying on what the individual needs to decide to or take part in. These shall be extra of our technical abilities paddle,” defined Dykes. 

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The membership can be introducing two classes the place the general public can study to paddle which acts as a teaser to the fuller technical paddling courses. Private classes for company teams, faculty teams and youth teams may even be provided.  

Additionally they plan to supply a particular moonlight paddle the place they’ll mild up the dragon on the boat and paddle throughout night as a strategy to join with nature. Since they might be paddling within the night, members would wish to take not less than one study to paddle class previous to becoming a member of.  

To boost consciousness of their recruitment, the membership has been attending markets within the Tri-Area space. Their remaining two markets are Apr. 16 on the Spring Market on the PERC Constructing in Stony Plain and Apr. 23 on the Spring Fling Market at Tomahawk’s Sports activities Agra Constructing.

“Proper now we have to get individuals and popping out on the water with us,” mentioned Dykes. “We hope that you simply get bit by the dragon like I did.” /

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