New to the sport?
Dragon boat racing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, combining an excellent full-body workout with the camaraderie and support of a team. Here in Victoria there are three paddling clubs with training programs to suit everyone from recreational novices to elite athletes. Comprehensive dragon boat programs for first-time paddlers are available at the following organizations.
Fairway Gorge Paddling Club (FGPC)
As the official training centre for the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club offers a full slate of community based dragon boat programs for all ages and abilities. FGPC has programs that will suit the needs of experienced or beginner paddlers. Team training typically runs from January to September.
FGPC also offers programs for paddlers without teams – including new paddlers. These Club Teams begin training in April, though spaces fill up quickly.
For more information and to register, visit the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club
Vancouver Island Paddling (VI Paddling)
VI Paddling is a non-profit, member-driven paddling club dedicated to providing coaching, guidance, and support to nurture and develop paddlers at all levels of recreational and competitive paddle sports on Vancouver Island.
VI Paddling is currently focused on delivering high quality dragon boat programs for athletes of all ages, skills, and abilities, from beginners to high performance. VI Paddling also hosts and coaches recreational team programs, many of which are actively recruiting new team members.
For more information and to register, visit the Vancouver Island Paddling website.
Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club (VCKC)
The Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club is a volunteer-based, community-oriented club. Members contribute thousands of hours of volunteer time in instruction, maintenance of the clubhouse and boats, and administration of club business each year.
Teams start their practices in early March and finish the season either after the Victoria or Portland Dragon Boat Festivals. Depending on demand, the dragon boat program offers several different teams with different goals and commitment levels: Competitive, Recreational, Womens, Novice, and 50+. New paddlers undergo a selection process to match their season’s goals with a team of similarly minded paddlers.
For more information and to register, visit the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club website.