With seating for 22 paddlers, the Rainbow Warriors Dragonboat Team are hoping to have some new faces on board when they take to the water this season.
The team is holding a recruitment meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Cowpuccino’s and, along with recruiting, coaches Laurie McWilliams and Joan Patriquin are hoping to dispel some myths about the Rainbow Warriors.
“We are looking for men or women and you don’t have to be a cancer survivor to join … there is a misconception about that in town. Yes, we are a breast cancer survivor and support team, so raising awareness is one of the things we do together, but you don’t need to be a survivor to join,” said McWilliams.
“Anyone that wants to join needs to know how to swim, but they don’t need to know how to paddle. We will teach people everything they need to know for dragonboating,” added Patriquin.
The team gets together twice per week for 90-minute practices on the water and competes at gatherings around the region. While not a mainstream activity, both ladies say there are a lot of benefits to being a Rainbow Warrior.
“In the boat there are paddlers, a drummer and a steerer, so there is a real sense of team among everyone. It’s also great exercise. People may not think it is, but there is definitely a fitness component to it,” said McWilliams.
“I think there is a real sense of belonging there,” added Patriquin.
For some of the paddlers, like McWilliams, dragonboating is the only way to get out on the waters of the Prince Rupert Harbour. For others, like Patriquin, it’s a way to share the experience with others.
“I’d encourage people to come down and give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and there is a lot of learning and bonding that takes place,” said McWilliams.
Those unable to attend the recruitment meeting can call McWilliams at 250-627-8781.