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

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.

Nancy Bennett

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.