Students with The Spirit of Fraser Valley Junior Paddling Program row their dragon boat across a lake. Students ages 13 to 18 are welcome to join the upcoming season; they’re encouraged to sign up by March 15, and practices begin on April 1. (Riana Neels/Contributed Photo)

Fraser Valley Junior Paddling program launches again soon

Looking for local recruits from ages 13 to 18

Let’s get ready to paddle!

The Spirit of Fraser Valley Junior Paddling Program is recruiting students interested in exploring the exciting world of dragon boat racing. The junior program is an ongoing branch of the Fraser Valley Paddling Club (FVPC) and is open to all youth paddlers ages 13 to 18.

Riana Neel helps coach the Junior Paddling Program, and it has grown to about 24 paddlers.

WATCH: Harrison Dragon Boat Regatta

“For me, it’s really about the students getting fresh air and getting into a team sport without having to spend a lot of money,” Neels said.

Neels said registration should ideally be done by March 15 but newcomers are welcome throughout the season, which runs from April 1 to July 1. The FVPC provides all necessary equipment; all students will need to bring is clothing appropriate for the weather, a water bottle and snacks.

Practices are held on Wednesdays at 4:3o p.m. starting April 1.

RELATED: Kids finish first year of paddling

The cost is $40 with financial assistance available if needed. Transportation is provided – students come from all over from Chilliwack to Harrison – and will stop at most major schools to pick up students for practice and regattas.

The club competes in a number of regattas throughout the year, including the DragonZone Junior Regatta and the local Harrison DragonBoat Regatta and the Harrison Battle of the Paddles.

For more information about the Junior Paddling Program and to learn about how to register, contact Riana Neels by emailing

According to the FVPC website, donations from local people and businesses as well as organizations such as the Optimist Club helps sponsor this program to keep it affordable for students.

The FVPC was established in 2001 and has grown to a total of about 140 members across the Fraser Valley from ages 13 to 65 and beyond. To learn more about how you can help or to join the FVPC, visit them online at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Junior Sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Abbotsford Agrifair’s 2020 event still in the works

Fair will respect COVID-19 health directives, but continuing plans in hope ban will be lifted

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

Public urged to continue donating blood during pandemic

Upcoming donor clinics in Abbotsford and Mission

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read