Two Masters Dragon Boat teams are off to compete at World Masters Games 2017 (WMG) in Auckland, New Zealand from April 21-30, 2017.
In the summer of 2016, Connie Gross had a crazy idea that it would be a great idea to take a masters women’s dragon boat crew on an adventure. When asked why, Connie said: “This trip is a dream come true for me. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to paddle at an International event. I’m loving the journey – I’ve trained alongside some wonderful people – and met many new friends. The end goal has motivated me to get fit and take on a healthier lifestyle.”
The crazy idea grew and now… an all-female 50+crew and a male/female 40+mixed crew have been training hard since last summer, in the classroom, at the Max Bell University pool, in the gym, in the coulees, and “on water” in Team ID’s 10 paddler boat at Nicholas Sheran pool! Comprised of enthusiastic paddlers from Southern Alberta, both teams have come together to participate in this “once in a lifetime” adventure.
Who are we? We are a group of Southern Alberta area paddlers who love dragon boating. The paddlers are associated with the Dragon Boat Association of Southern Alberta (DASA). Some are very experienced, while others are newer to the sport. Regardless, we are all dedicated to becoming the “best we can be” as we prepare for the Games. We will have a paddler from New Zealand joining our mixed crew.
When asked what drew her to participate, Joan said: “New Zealand is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and to combine it with dragon boating and the camaraderie that comes with it – It’s a no-brainer!” Meanwhile another paddler said: “I was never competitive. What attracted me was a team. All of us, all 22 in the boat. Working together, making it work. When we focus we sync, we inspire, we build, we support, and we have fun. We are each other’s cheerleaders”.
The International sport of dragon boating, under the governing bodies of IDBF (International), ADBF (Asian), EDBF (European) is a vibrant, effective, and independent sport. The International Dragon Boat Federation describes dragon boating as a modern sport with ancient traditions that is developing into a serious, high-performance, competitive sport while continuing to be a team sport, a very social sport, and great fun too. Meanwhile, the World Masters is regarded as the largest multi-sporting event in the world. Over 27,000 participants from 117 countries including Canada, UK, US, Finland, Germany, and Russia will compete in 28 sports and 45 disciplines during the 10 day event in Auckland.
To learn more about this exciting event and follow local Southern Alberta paddlers while they compete go to: www.worldmastersgames2017; Dragon Boat Association of Southern Alberta (DASA) face book page.
Or check out this article for another behind the scenes look at the teams.