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You Want to Join Emerson’s Dragon Boat Team, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

At some point this spring, you’ve no doubt thought to yourself, “I wish there were a way to meet great people, check out ducks, and tone my arms all at the same time.”

You're in luck.

The Emerson Lions Dragon Boat team, sponsored by the Iwasaki Library and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, needs 20-22 faculty, staff, students, alumni, or adult (over 14) family members to join up ahead of the June 10-11 Boston Dragon Boat Festival.

“It’s fun and it’s a good way to get in touch with other Emersonians, but not in the workplace,” said Maureen Tripp, media resources coordinator for the Iwasaki Library and a team member.

You don’t need to have any experience with dragon boat paddling, and you need only commit to three out of six scheduled practices: May 16, 18, 23, 30, June 1 and 6, all 6:00-7:00 pm on the lovely Charles River.

Dragon boats carry between 18-22 people per boat. There’s a drummer to keep a rhythm and a person to steer the boat so you don’t beach yourselves, plus 14-20 paddlers sitting two to a seat to make the boat go – preferably fast.

The Boston Dragon Boat Festival, now in its 38th year, had about 70 teams participate in 2016, Tripp said, and is expecting even more this year. The competition is mixed.

“Some are club teams that compete in other races year round, so they’re really hardcore dragon boat racers, and others are school teams like us that are more casual,” Tripp said.

If you’re still not convinced, here are a bunch more reasons to join, according to Tripp:

  1. It’s a healthy outdoor activity and a good stress releaser.
  2. You’re on the Charles at sunset, so it’s not hard to look at.
  3. It’s not a big commitment; a few practices, a fun race, and you’re free to return to your non-dragon-boat-filled life by mid-June.
  4. You don’t have to be an athlete. “The way dragon boating works is it depends on how well the team collaborates and communicates and works in unison, so it’s a good sport for Emerson,” Tripp said. 
  5. It’s an Asian tradition with a fascinating story, and Emerson is part of the Chinatown neighborhood, so it’s a nice opportunity to participate in a celebration of that community.
  6. At $10, the fee is reasonable and gets you a cool T-shirt.

Now that you’re sold, you can email to sign up. Happy paddling!



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