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Hamber Dragon Boaters Triumph

FCRCC Eternal Dragon, composed of 19 Eric Hamber students, paddled their way to victory at the 2014 International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships, held in Ravenna, Italy. The team returned to Canada with 8 gold medals, 3 silvers, and 1 bronze. 23 paddlers represented the team in Ravenna, and were accompanied by a large contingent of five coaches, three team officials, and three supporters. Of Canada's total of 90 medals won at the event, 12 were won by the team.

The Hamber students are members of the FCRCC Eternal Dragon, which is Vancouver's longest running youth dragon boat team.

Their record breaking achievements were recognized by federal Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal and Vancouver South MP Wai Young on November 12. Each honoree received a certificate from both the Minister and the MP along with a gold plated pin to commemorate their success in their respective sports. The Minister also announced that the Governor General of Canada had proclaimed 2015 as the Year of Sport in Canada, and he encouraged the paddlers to continue in their journey in maintaining their commitment to personal fitness and continued paddling excellence.

The Club Crew World Championships are a biennial event organized under the jurisdiction of the International Dragon Boat Federation. These Championships are open to teams nominated by their national sport governing organization. Eternal Dragon won one of the Canadian U18 berths through its performance at the 2013 Canadian National Dragon Boat Championships in Victoria, BC. Every two years, the Championships are held in a different location internationally, and attract thousands of paddlers representing their teams and paddling clubs.

In 2014, the team celebrated its 25th anniversary, a significant milestone for Vancouver dragon boat history. In 1989, the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival was started, but without provisions for junior entries. After team founder and Hamber teacher Judy Chan pointed this out, junior paddlers were allowed into the festival the following year. Every year since, the team has paddled in the festival, most recently winning silver in the 2014 Junior A Championship with a time of 1:56.90.

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