Dragon Boat Canada announced its 2019 Senior B National Team on Tuesday, acknowledging the 54 athletes from Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and B.C.
Many of the selected athletes are from Vancouver Island and will represent Canada at the 14th World Nations Championships in Pattaya, Thailand this August in the Senior B (50 plus) division.
“It’s an incredible group of athletes,” said program director Tom Arnold. “They’re some of the top paddlers from 17 different dragon boat clubs across the country, and they’ve all come together with the singular goal of being the best in the world.”
Some of the athletes have represented Canada before in the Premier, Senior A and Senior B divisions but more than half of the 2019 team will be competing in their first world championships.
“Putting on that Team Canada jersey is a thrill at any age,” Arnold said. “The competition to make national teams is fierce, and it’s exciting to see so many athletes earning that privilege for the first time.”
Tom Arnold is with VI Paddling, as are the program coaches, Andrea Keenan, Andree St Denis and Mallorie Nicholson.
The Senior B Women’s Roster for 2019 features 12 athletes from B.C. and nine of them are from the Island’s VI Paddling club.
The Senior B Open Roster has 13 athletes from B.C. and 11 of them are from the VI Paddling, Comox, NCKC and FGPC dragon boat clubs on the Island.