It was a busy May 27-29. 2022 weekend of Advanced Paddle Clinic held at the Calgary Canoe Club and the Glenmore Reservoir. We welcomed back seasoned guest coach Tom Arnold of Dragon Boat Canada and coach of the Gorging Dragons to run us through the paces and give us constructive feedback on all levels of paddling and coaching related. We are truly fortunate to have Tom’s level of experience on the water this weekend, sharing his own insights on how to improve our stroke techniques.
In 2019, Tom and his Team of Coaches lead our National Senior B Teams to 15 medals out of 15 races at the International Dragon Boat Federation Racing Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.
FRIDAY: Skill Building Paddling & “Coach the Coach”
New this year were 2-hour skill building sessions in small groups on Friday in an OC-6 boat. The drills were designed to help paddlers understand the impact of one’s individual paddling on the boats forward momentum. Some great basics and 1:1 video review gave insights on improving overall paddling skills to translate into a Dragon Boat.
The “Coach The Coach” session on Friday evening gave some of our local coaches an opportunity to ask questions on training tips, techniques and drills for their teams.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Advanced Paddle Camp
We had a full roster of 80 paddlers from various local clubs and even a few paddlers from Edmonton made it down for this intensive weekend camp. The sessions were split into 2 Groups, i.e. A and B, with only 2 boats per session. Each day, paddlers were on the water for about 2-hours in the morning with Tom going through various drills, and another 2-hours in the afternoon with further drills and building on what was learned. Coco Brooks provided some hearty lunch and snacks to fuel our participants between their sessions. Video feedback on each Club has been given Coaches only by Tom at a private session held on Saturday Evening, where Coaches will then review the Team Video with their members.
Thank you all who attended and made it a resounding success! We would like to especially thank Stephen Fournier and Marc Richea for coordinating this year’s camp. Marc (Chewie) with his mad baking skills even shared his infamous “Thick, Soft & Chewie” cookies with everyone. We hope you all had some great takeaways from the drills, video reviews and coaching this weekend to help take your paddling to the next level. See you all back on the water as we work towards all the festivals this season, Calgary Festival! If you haven’t yet signed up your team, there’s still time to take advantage and save $200 off your registration fee. Early Bird Registration runs until June 11, 2022!
To cap off the perfect weekend, we even had a Dragon Boat Wedding happen on Saturday, our very own members Steven Wills and Wanda Duong of Dragnum said “I Do” and they immortalized their day with a paddle together to symbolize their union! Sometimes the dragon gods shine down on our Reservoir, helping souls connect. Both Steve and Wanda met each other years ago through their common passion for dragon boat, travel and fun, and quickly grew their love into a lifelong partnership. A heartfelt congratulations from our entire community!
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