VI PADDLING PHOTO Team Canada with their medals at the 13th World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kumming,China.

North Island Athlete brings home gold from China

Shari Woodside was one of eight paddlers to represent Canada

Port McNeill’s Shari Woodside has returned from China, a world champion with the gold and silver to prove it.

She competed in 13th World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Kunming, China winning gold in the 500m and silver in the 2000m, 1000m and 200m for the Senior B Women’s division.

She also competed in the Senior B Mixed division winning gold in the 200m and 2000m and silver in the 500m and 1000m.

“We are very proud of our athletes and their well-deserved medals. It’s spectacular to see them dominate so many events, and prove what a world class source of athletes Vancouver Island is,” said Gabby Kalaw, VI Paddling Vice President.

The international competition took place between Oct. 18 and 22.

Eight paddlers from the Island’s VIPaddling club, represented Canada in the Championships and all eight were members of VIPaddling’s Gorging Dragons who won their berths on the National teams following a rigorous, country-wide selection process.

Canada brought home 28 Gold, 13 Silver, and 8 Bronze medals overall proving the country is a formidable power in dragon boating worldwide.The World Nations Dragon Boat Championships are held every second year.

Since dragon boating is not an Olympic event, this event represents the pinnacle of competition in the sport and Canada’s paddlers are athletes are Olympic caliber.

China is the originator of the sport of dragon boating, and the depth of talent in its pro-am paddling community is enormous.

VI Paddling Club was founded in 2011 and is home to 13 Dragon Boat teams that range from elite competitive to novice recreational. Based out of Selkirk Gorge in Victoria, VI Paddling runs competitive and recreational dragon boat programs out of Victoria, with a training location in Comox.

High-performance teams at VI Paddling draw paddlers from throughout the Island and further afield. The club’s mission: to provide coaching, guidance, and support to nurture and develop paddlers at all levels of recreational and competitive paddle sports on Vancouver Island.

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