Dragon boaters take to water in Welland

The 2014 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships took place this weekend in Welland. The International Flatwater Centre played host for the 8th annual event.

Dragon boat is the essence of team work, dedicated athletes working in perfect symmetry all charging for the finish line.

About 2,000 people and 84 crews took part in the competition.

“I have diabetes and it’s all gone,” said Manny Directo, a 74-year-old racer.

Dragon boat is for everyone regardless of athletic ability.

“Dragon boat is accessible. The most dynamic sport. Twenty people in boat. No rock stars. Everybody’s got the same job,” said one racer.

“It doesn’t matter what your journey in life is. People say I don’t have big enough arms. You know what, anybody can do it,” said Jordan Morgan, a national team athlete.

There are hardcore competitive racers and then theres those who just want to be sociable and have a good time.

Directo says the sport keeps him young. He says he’ll go until he’s 80. He says age shouldn’t be an excuse.

“Come on over. I was one like that. I can’t do it. I have arthritis. I’m too old…like this,” he said.

The course will host events for the 2015 Pan Am games in July, and according to athletes, it’s world class.


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bgee says:

It would keep you in shape

xjaysfan says:


Laura Willet says:

I did Dragonboat racing once. It’s not easy

ErikaR says:

A friend of mine joined a Dragon Boat team at the age of 55 – in Nanaimo, B.C. Great fun and good camaraderie.

Jerry says:

great for exercise and getting to know people





betty says:

hard workout

betty says:

good for Directo

Lisa says:

Great way to stay in shape. Good luck to all teams in the race.

Carol-Anne says:

looks like a lot of fun

Adara says:

It’s great to have a sport like this that is accessible to both athletes and non-athletes.

Lee says:


Clark says:

everybody needs to be in sync.

Lee says:

looks like a good workout

jpd says:

Great venue

jpd says:

A must see event

Robert says:

They are so cool.

Eva says:

something i have always wanted to try

Lee says:

That’s a lot of people at this event!

Hanne says:

would of loved to of seen that

Angela says:

Sign me up

Ann says:

sounds like a fun day!

dar w says:

Let’s get ready for the Pan Am games!!!

bobcat says:

Great for the body and soul

N o e l says:

not to be left out in events like this

Roger says:

Row Row Row your boat

winkdickerson says:


zsazsa says:

Back is in spasms just thinking about it

John Marshall says:

Great for building strong teams and age is not a factor. Cool

rosemaries44 says:

great exercise and fun too!

mtlmajik says:

Age is a number and should not be an excuse.

Bob says:

Great team work. Looks like the teams had fun

taylar says:

It is all for fun

Countrylady says:

Enjoy it is a team effort, plus fantastic members stating good sportsmanship nice to hear that comment