Dragons Abreast (DA) Toronto welcomes all breast cancer survivors. No previous paddling experience required.
New members are accepted annually in February, when recruits are invited to join our dryland training. The deadline for membership is the last day of February.
Dragons Abreast is a team run by breast cancer survivors for breast cancer survivors – we understand what you’re going through. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite everyone interested to attend an information meeting usually held in early February at the start of dryland training. At this meeting you will learn all about Dragons Abreast, training and paddling information, the costs involved and what gear you may need, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions.
Send us an email to find out more and to have your name added to the new member meeting invite list!
*Please note that registration is starting soon for 2024. We would love to have you join us in February 2024 when registration opens again.
Complete Registration Package
Explanation of the Waiver & Insurance Coverage: Explanation of Dragons Abreast Waiver
Lake Practice starts in late April, usually around the 20th to the 22nd. You will be advised of the exact date as weather conditions can vary significantly in the early Spring.
Location: Sunnyside Docks located behind the Sunnyside Café and Pool.
( Lakeshore Blvd. and Parkside Drive)
Time: start time varies – be dressed and ready to warm up and load the boat 15 minutes prior to practice
Days: Currently every Tuesday and Thursday (and optional Saturdays) from late April to mid September.
By car, come down to the Lakeshore in the West End of Toronto and park in the parking lots on either side of the Sunnyside Pool. Parking is $3.00 per evening starting in mid May until Labour Day.
If coming by car from the east you will need to go past Parkside Drive to the U Turn exit just before Ellis Drive. Wait for a break in traffic and go directly across all lanes and enter the West Parking Lot. Park and walk towards the beach behind the café and pool. You will see us there.
By TTC or Public Transit
Take the subway west to Dundas West Station. Transfer to the King Street streetcar and get off at Sunnyside. Cross the street, and using the footbridge, cross Lakeshore Blvd. This will take you to the Palais Royale. Walk west along the boardwalk to Sunnyside Pool. You will see us there.
In the early spring wear waterproof jackets, pants and shoes. Water will splash up and you want to stay dry and warm. Neoprene gloves or rubber gloves are also recommended as the water will be cold in the first few weeks of practice. Bring a change of clothes for after practice. They can be left in the change room lockers at a cost of 25 cents per locker. As the weather warms up, shorts, t-shirts, and footwear that can get wet will be fine. You will find what works best for you.
Dragons Abreast supplies life jackets and paddles. The only suggested item would be a seat pad. Kneeling pads that you use in the garden wrapped with the net type shelf liner work well. Gel seat pads can also be purchased in various sporting goods locations.
We use TeamSnap for attendance. Please sign up for practice online with TeamSnap and the lake practice coordinator will also mark attendance before practice. If you will be absent, please update TeamSnap well before practice.
The team meets before the season starts for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which time we select the races to participate in. At that time, paddlers indicate if they wish to go to a particular Regatta. If you find that you want to go to a regatta at a later date, please notify the venue captain and/or co-captain.
Tell your Venue Captain/Co-Captain immediately so they can find a replacement.
The team offers off-season training, and all members are encouraged to attend these sessions.
These are terms that describe the paddlers position in the boat. Each crew member is placed where they are best suited to give the best possible contribution to the crew as a whole. Every crew is different so you may not always paddle in the same seat or with the same partner. Some of the considerations are stroke consistency, paddling side, long legs, short legs, height, strength, and experience, just to name a few. Each section of the boat has its own needs and requirements. Pacers (front six) need to have good consistent stokes and be controlled. If they are too enthusiastic and go too fast the crew will be wasting valuable energy and will likely not achieve its goals because there is nothing left for the final push to the finish. The engine room (middle eight) need to be strong and powerful as they are dealing with faster water. This is also where the boat is sitting the lowest in the water and strong powerful strokes are needed to keep it up and gliding over the water. Rockets (back six) are probably dealing with the fastest water and need a good deep stroke to get a good connection with the water and keep the lift and glide going. This section is also often responsible for a turbo charge push at the start of a series that is picked up through the rest of the boat.
No one section is more important than the other. They must all work together as one or we may as well not leave the dock. Your coach will place you in the boat where you are best suited to be the most help for your crew. The over-riding consideration is always what is best for the crew as a whole. There are 22 hearts in the dragon boat beating as one.
Here is a great video explaining a lot of aspects of paddling a dragon boat. Great for newbies to Dragons Abreast!