Dragon Boat Program
The sport of dragon boat racing has its origins in China over 1000 years ago. Over the past 20 years, it has become one of the world's most colourful and fastest growing team sports. Dragon boating is a fun, social and competitive team sport that involves a 48 foot, 300Kg boat, 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a stern racing at 250, 500 and sometimes 2000 metre courses. Dragon Boating (video)
The goal of VCKC teams is to compete in nearby dragon boat festivals, including the Gorge Super Sprints(May), Nanaimo (July), and Victoria (August). There are many more opportunities to compete in the Pacific Northwest, including the B.C. Seniors Games in September and fun festivals such as VCKC's Guts and Glory event (July).
Teams start their practices in early March and finish the season either after the Victoria or the BC Seniors Games. Depending on demand, the dragon boat program offers several different teams with different goals and commitment levels: Recreational, Womens, and 50+. VCKC teams are open to any member of the Club.
Teams are trained by volunteer coaching staff, and generally practice twice a week in the evenings. A practice schedule is created each spring as teams begin to form.
Paddlers wishing to be placed on a team undergo a selection process to match their season's goals with a team of similarly minded paddlers. "Learn to Paddle" sessions are held starting in early March. See the calendar for details. This is the best place to start as a new member or new paddler. New paddlers can use equipment from the clubhouse. The first two sessions in the water are free but after that you must become a member of VCKC to continue and contribute to the club. You may want to acquaint yourself with VCKC Policies & Procedures and also with the VCKC DragonBoat Program policies.
VCKC’s dragon boat program emphasizes sportsmanship, safety, good fellowship, protection of the environment, and community service. In keeping with VCKC principles, costs are low but members of the program should take part in community events such as the Gorge Canada Day Picnic, and volunteer for annual Clubhouse and Gorge cleanups and the Guts 'n Glory race day.
You can read about the background about the sport of dragon boating in Victoria and within VCKC in the following chronology: