Dragon Boating is an activity that people of any age or ability can participate in. It improves strength, endurance, and coordination. It is also a very social activity that requires teamwork, communication, and commitment. Dragon boating is a popular activity for women, and many women report feeling stronger, having greater confidence, improved mood and body image, reduced stress, and greater energy. Dragon boating has also become quite popular with breast cancer survivors due to the physical and social benefits.
Dragon boating with a PE class is a lot of fun. Most students are trying the activity for the first time, they are outside on the water, and it’s a novel activity. If you are interested in taking your class dragon boating, you will most likely need to contact a dragon boating team or club in order to gain access to a boat or two. If this is the case, the club will also teach your class.
They will review safety procedures:
– Paddles and boats have been inspected
– Qualified steersperson, bailing can, working communication device, first aid kit, and whistler or air horn on board
– Everyone on board wears a life jacket
– In case of emergency, stay with the boat – it will not sink. If you are very close to shore, you may go to shore. Note who is sitting beside you in the boat now. Look for them in case of emergency. Let the steersperson know if you cannot see them.
– Hold onto your partner’s wrist to help them into and out of the boat
They will also go over body position in the boat, how to paddle, and terminology:
– Hip tight against gunwale (side) – 70% of weight on outside cheek
– Both feet forward
– Reach far forward, paddle straight down, and pull back to your own hip
– Terminology: paddles up, go/take it away, brace the boat, check the boat/hold the boat, back paddle, let it ride
You will then practice paddling in sync, various strokes, and how to start a race. If you are lucky enough to have two boats, you may end the lesson with a race, before stretching and putting away the gear.
We have made a lot of connections dragon boating in our community, and I have had many students volunteer at dragon boating regattas in direct response to dragon boating with our class. You may even have enough interest to start your own team!