This just in... the Optimist Club of Chilliwack, BC is supporting the Harrison Paddle Club junior dragonboat team.
What is a dragonboat? Good question. According to the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival website, a dragonboat "is a boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person." In the sport, the team paddles "to cross the finish faster than their competition."
Dragonboats originated in the Pearl River Delta region of China's Guangdong Province and similar long boats have been used in competition since the original games of Olympia in ancient Greece. Many have ornamental dragon heads and tails when used in competition.
As a team sport, it involves power, speed synchronization and endurance. Dare I say, it involves a little optimism as well to have 20 paddlers on that narrow boat!
The Chilliwack Optimist Club will supply the paddles, t-shirts, and life jackets for the team. It is open for paddlers aged 14 to 18. No experience is needed to join the team as the focus of the Harrison Paddle Club is health, fun and fitness.
The Harrison Paddle Club and the Chilliwack Optimist Club will also be providing mentorship to teens through the program. Good job, Chilliwack! It's interesting to learn how Optimists bring old traditions to light.
Pictures courtesy of the Optimist Club of Chilliwack on Facebook.