A local women’s dragon boat team, Philadelphia Flying Phoenix, has created two programs to bring young people to the sport to enhance their fitness, discipline and leadership: Healthy Dragons and Sparks.
Two local teenagers – one from Wynnewood — who started paddling several years ago with the Philadelphia Flying Phoenix Sparks Girls Crew have made Team USA and will compete in Thailand in August. Some of our adult teammates have also been accepted to compete on Team USA in Thailand and one will coach a team. We also have a crew of breast cancer paddlers.
Katrielle Byland is a rising 10th grader at Lower Merion High School. Madeline Markham is a rising freshman at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School. They have raced in Philadelphia & New Jersey races and won medals.
To gain a place on Team USA’s U16/U18, they first had to send in a video of a 500 meter piece on an outrigger canoe (i.e., OC1) with their coaches recommendation. In February, both girls were invited to fly out to Southern California to join in the U16/18 training camp at the Santa Fe Dam. They were also required to do a 500 meter time trial against many other girls, ages 12 – 17. They will fly out to Long Beach, California the weekend of July 26 to do a final training camp/time trial for crew placement as well as compete in the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival with the U16/U18 crew. There will be a 20 seat mixed crew, 10 seat boys and 10 seat girls crew. The IDBF 14th World Championships will take place in Pattaya, Thailand August 20-25, 2019 http://www.wdbrc2019.org/