New dragon boating centre in Paradise will benefit province

The sport of dragon boating has been in Newfoundland and Labrador for just eight years, but the sport has grown so dramatically, a new facility is being built to accommodate practice space.
Plans are now underway to build a new community dragon boat centre at Octagon Pond in Paradise. (CBC)
The sport of dragon boating has been in Newfoundland and Labrador for just eight years, but the sport has grown so dramatically, a new facility is in the works to accommodate practice space.
Avalon Dragons Chair Julie Bettney says the new centre will benefit people all over the province. (CBC)

The sport has gained speed in the province, growing from nine to 30 teams.

On Tuesday, the Rotary Club of Avalon Northeast announced that a new community dragon boat centre will be built.  

The centre will be located on Octagon Pond in Paradise and will serve as the new home for the Avalon Dragons.  

The group, which has been paddling on the pond for seven years, consists of breast cancer survivors, their friends, families and anyone interested in the sport of dragon boating.

Member Nancy Bennett said the current location where the team launches is less than ideal. 

"The problem with the location right now is that when the wind blows across the pond, the water gets very choppy and it gets too difficult to get across to the other side, which is much calmer. So many of our practices have been cancelled as a result, " Bennett said.

Plans for the new centre will see the facility build on the far side of Octagon Pond, where winds are calmer.

Avalon Dragons member Nancy Bennett says the new centre will be a hub for dragon boaters. (CBC)
Dragon boating chair Julie Bettney spoke at Tuesday's media conference. 

"This centre will not only benefit us and other breast cancer survivors — but the community at large and all over the province ultimately — because this will be the provincial centre for dragon boating," said Bettney.

Avalon Dragons member Doreen Reardigan was thrilled with Tuesday's announcement.

"We're all so very happy ... it's going to be marvellous. We've dreamed of this since I joined four years ago, we've been talking about it, and now finally it's a reality," Reardigan said. 

The centre is expected to open within a few years.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.