Houston Heat’s 2nd Annual Youth Dragon Boat Clinic

Houston Heat Dragon Boat Club strives to promote the rich cultural history of the dragon boat sport and to bring community involvement and awareness to our paddlers — from working with the Lighthouse of Houston’s blind paddlers, Blind Fury, to promoting greener waterways through Houston Heat Goes Green.  HH is all about teamwork, leadership, community, and hard work — we aim to have fun AND do some good!

Earlier this July month, we held our 2nd annual Youth Paddling Clinic in Clear Lake. Our purpose for this event was to introduce the sport of dragon boat to youths between the ages of 14-18. It was exciting to do so for the younger generation and help them learn how to work together as part of a competitive team.

While unloading our two boats, there was a family (1 adult, 6 kids) casually walking by the water, while observing our oddly shaped boats. We invited (or persuaded) them in joining us and they were excited for this opportunity to participate. Of course, we didn’t tell them how long the event would last and that there were no restroom breaks.

In total, nineteen brand new young paddlers, between the ages of 11 and 17, woke up super early on Saturday to spend their summer morning paddling in the Clear Lake waters. We hope they enjoyed the experience and will continue to participate in future dragon boat events.

We also want to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers who drove the distance to spend almost 4 hours in the scorching heat for the youth paddlers. We appreciate you and all your time in helping with this effort.

Many of our Houston Heat paddlers volunteered to help coach these young paddlers as we executed drills and paddling exercises. The coaches could see the huge improvement in the new paddlers within the short paddling session and we ended the event with a 250m race between the two boats. It was a great race, with both boats going head to head all the way to the finish line, and we couldn’t tell who won, even with video and pictures taken on land.

One of the most important things during the event was seeing the smile and excitement on the new paddlers’ faces. Check out the excitement in the jump shots from the volunteers (top) and all the youth paddlers (bottom):







A quote from our head coach Jeff, “Whether or not they come back, I could tell they had a blast and will walk away with an experience that they can talk about forever! Its days like this that keeps me going.”