16th Annual YMCA Dragon Boat Team Challenge

“Presented by Aon Hewitt”
The date for the 16th Annual YMCA Dragon Boat Team Challenge “Presented by Aon Hewitt” is September 25 – 28, 2014. The 4 day event is held at Northshore Park and Lake Woodlands. The venue sponsor is The Woodlands Township. The popular community team building event has sold out in the last 2 years.

Priority registration for new and returning sponsor teams is May 1 – 31.
Registration for non-sponsor alumni teams is June 1 – 30.
Open registration for new teams begins July 1, based on space availability.
Are you looking for a unique, fun and easy team building outing? YMCA Dragon Boat is for you. The YMCA does all the planning and facilitating . . . all you have to do is recruit your team and show up ready to play. A team is composed of a minimum of 20 members but no more than 30. Each team roster must have a minimum of 5 females and participants must be at least 18 years of age. High School teams, 9th – 12th grade, are eligible to participate in the Sunday morning bracket: 8:00am – Noon.
The sport of dragon boating is over 2000 years old with its origins steeped in tradition. The pageantry, the colors, the mechanics of dragon boating are educational and present a view into the past. Over 2000 years ago Chu Yuan, poet, warrior and loyal aide to the emperor, fell victim to plots and deception and found himself out of favor at court. When the old emperor died, Chu Yuan was unjustly banished and wandered the countryside composing poems he hoped would be heard and heeded by the new emperor. His inconsolable desolation grew until one day he threw himself into the Mi Lo River. His devoted followers, learning of his death, rushed to search for his body. Fearing the fish might devour the body; they beat their paddles on the water and banged drums and gongs to frighten the fish. Today, athletes from around the world meet to commemorate Yuan’s sacrifice for honor and justice in the form of Dragon Boat Racing. The Mississippi River Adventures acquired two dragon boats in late 1985 and brought the first dragon boat team to the Midwest in 1986. Teams from six states and two foreign countries participated in races as part of the Mississippi River Adventures annual canoe float (MADRAC). This successful event led to the first American Dragon Boat Association (ADBA) International Dragon Boat Race on the Navy Pier in Chicago on June 19, 1988. Teams from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia competed with eleven US teams from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and West Virginia. For more information please visit www.americandragonboat.com
The event features 6 different team activities, but the Dragon Boat Races are the main event. The boats, owned by The American Dragon Boat Association, are transported down, annually from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dragon boats are forty foot long, extremely, colorful dragon headed canoes and weigh over 1800 pounds. This exciting team building event is designed to build community spirit among corporations, civic groups and community organizations. The activities are designed to bring individuals together to achieve a single goal – To Have FUN! They achieve this by becoming a team and working together as a synchronized unit. It’s much more than “beating the other team.” It is the camaraderie, the team work and team spirit, visiting and playing with old friends, meeting new friends and laughing. It is adults having the opportunity to play like kids!

The YMCA makes it so EASY to participate. The Y organizes and facilitates all team activities, provides all the equipment, rules and instructions as well as a team tent, water & ice and event t-shirt. The Y also provides professional staff, volunteers and safety/security agencies to create a positive, safe and fun environment. The team entry is $650 and $575 for High School and Non-Profit Groups. All you have to do is send in the team registration form, recruit your team, show up and have FUN!

Rowing for a CAUSE. YMCA Dragon Boat is a charity event benefitting YMCA Outreach Programs. Thanks to our generous sponsors, hundreds of at risk youth can participate in YMCA Youth Development and Leadership Programs at no charge. The YMCA is a nonn-profit charitable organization.

Get ready to Row . . . Row . . . Row . . . your Dragon Boat! To register stop by the YMCA located at 6145 Shadowbend Place in The Woodlands. For more information please call Roxanne Davis at 281-681-6730 or rdavis@ymcahouston.org.