TI looks for eager rowers in Ottawa

Tungasuvvingat Inuit team will race the 15th Annual Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival


Are you between the ages of 15 to 25, living in Ottawa, and craving some exercise?

Then, Tungasuvvingat Inuit, the community centre for Inuit, wants you.

TI is looking for at least 20 youth aged 15 to 25 who are eager to train for two days of races during the 15th Annual Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival.

The festival, a fundraising activity for local charities, starts June 17.

No experience is required to learn how to race the slim, 44-foot dragon boats, which race during the three-day festival, says TI.

Called dragon boats, because two dragon heads decorate their bow and stern, dragon boat racing belongs to Chinese cultural tradition dating back 2,400 years.

The races began in South East China as a fertility rite to avert misfortune and bring rain by worshiping the dragon, says the Ottawa dragon boat race website.

Each dragon boat holds 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson.

Ottawa’s dragon boat festival — the largest in North America — attracts 5,000 paddlers in 190 teams, with a new race scheduled every nine minutes

Held at Mooney’s Bay Park on Riverside Drive in Ottawa, the festival, which also includes multicultural entertainment, attracts up to 70,000 spectators over three days.

To prepare for the races, TI’s team will participate in five training sessions during the first three weeks of June.

An information, planning and logistics sessions takes place June 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the new Healthy Weights Center at 297 Savard in Vanier.

The first practice run will be held this Saturday, June 4, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Rideau Canoe Club at the Hogs Back Road.

And the first team building session is scheduled for June 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., also at the Healthy Weights Centre.

There’s a “special incentive” as well as bus tickets and transportation assistance in store to help participants to join in and take part in all sessions.

For more information contact Matt Maloney, TI’s Inuit healthy weights co-ordinator at [email protected]

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