The Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club will soon embark on its 26th season, and members are inviting others to get involved.
The 2022 paddling season on Swan Lake will get underway May 3.
“After two years of pandemic restrictions, VRDBC is finally restarting the season at full strokes. People of all abilities from the area are invited to join youth rowing, adult rowing and adult dragon boating programs,” said club administration manager Lisa George.
Rowing is an impact-free workout in the open air that can boost endurance and full-body fitness. The minimum age, dictated by the size of the boat and oars, is 12 years old. There’s no maximum age, however, and the club boasts at least one competitive rower who is in their 80s.
Rowing is done in single, double, quad or eight-seat boats, also known as shells. Competitive rowing has a long history, with the first competitions dating back to the 18th century. The sport often leads young paddlers to university competition, and some of the club’s members have carried on to row in major university programs.
Dragon boating makes use of a much larger vessel, with up to 24 paddlers, a drummer and a steerperson on board, making it a true team sport. The club has a breast cancer survivor team, a women’s team and a 55-plus mixed team to welcome new paddlers of all descriptions.
Both sports offer the advantage of not needing any specific equipment; rowing shells, blades, boats and paddles are all provided by the club.
Practice times are available in the mornings and evenings, and the season runs until mid-October.
Registration can be done through vrdbc.com. Lessons on rowing and introductory dragon boat sessions will be on offer throughout the summer.
The VRDBC has been a hub for rowers and paddlers on Swan Lake since 1997, striving to provide affordable pathways for locals to take part in healthy physical activities.