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We are in this together

As we end an extraordinary year and set our sites on whatever 2021 will bring, as part of FGPC’s calendar project, we thought we’d profile some of the people featured on its pages.

Why? Because we want to celebrate our amazing community, and to further help us come together during these unprecedented times.

Are you in the calendar and what to participate? Click here to complete our paddler’s story form

Support the work we do: Buy a calendar here.

Athletes (in alphabetical order)

Molly Anderson

Sports: Waka Ama (Outrigger Paddling)

Years of paddling: 21 years

Favourite or notable paddling teams: New Zealand representative as Junior 16 in W6 2006 IVF Va’a World Sprints Championships in New Zealand, New Zealand representative as Open woman in W6 IVF Va’a World Sprints Championships in Canada.

Click here for full profile

“What I enjoy most about paddling is being able to connect with others in my community who share a passion for not only sport, but the love of the outdoors and community.”

Janet Bright

Dragon boater, marathon canoe, kayak, outrigger, retired health care HR professional

Years of paddling: 23

Teams: Team Momentum, former member of Island Breaststrokers

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“They’re going to have to carry me off the Gorge.”

Tara Hastings

Dragon Boat, Outrigger, trail running, surf ski, marathon canoe, cyclist, former varsity rower, General Counsel with the Province of B.C., Chair of FGPC’s board

Years of paddling: 14 years

Teams: Competitive Outrigger program, VIP dragon boat

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“It’s funny, because I realized there were at times periods of two to three days where I actually didn’t leave the house.”

Barb Hughes

Sports: Former outrigger, current dragon boat paddler, pickleball player and hiker

Years of Paddling: 7

Click here for full profile

“You just learn to adapt and move on, right? We’re all adaptable people. That’s what humans are about. One day we’ll all be back to it. We just need patience.”

Gillian Hunn

Running (half and full marathon), tennis, dragon boat, walking, hiking, pickleball

Years of paddling: 9

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“On the good side, there’s a lot of camaraderie, and then a lot of closeness, because you all share the fact that you had cancer.”

Sarah Hunn

Sports: Former competitive swimmer, soccer, tennis, dragon boat, kick-boxing, self-defense, and a somewhat reluctant runner

Years of paddling: 7? (or 2 officially)

Favourite or notable paddling teams: Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Penticton Dragon Boat Festival, Hornets

Click here for full profile

For my job, the main messaging is connected communities are more resilient. So the more that you know your neighbors, the better that you can respond to and recover from an emergency, regardless of socio-economic status.

Wendy Isdahl

Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, kayaker, retired LPN

Years of paddling: 7 so far

Teams: FGPC Momentum

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“It feels good to be part of something great. The club to me is a saviour.”

Kamini Jain

Sports: Member of Canada’s sprint kayak Olympic Team (Sidney, 2000; Athens, 2004, ) outrigger, dragon boat, world champion dragon boat and outrigger canoe coach and paddler, winning 11 World Cup medals, 14 IDBF World Championship medals, and many more as a dragon boat coach at the local, national and world levels.

Years of paddling: 35

“When I get in my boat, it feels like I’ve come home. It feels like where I’ve always been most comfortable. It was where I found my sense of self. It’s my comfort place.”

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James McDonald

Sports: Dragon Boat, Outrigger, Strength Training, former football player.

Years of paddling: 7

Favourite or notable paddling teams: Hornets, Civil Serpents

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“You see people who have struggled with all sorts of physical ailments, and yet they’re still able to come out and paddle with a positive attitude on a continual basis.”

Katy Milne

Sports: Dragon Boat, Outrigger Canoe, Rowing, Running, Strength and Conditioning

Years of paddling: 19

Favourite or notable paddling teams: Paddlers of the Fifth Moon, Snappin’ Dragons, Lima Mahina

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“If you’re easily able to come up with excuses as to why you didn’t or couldn’t do something, maybe that thing wasn’t really supposed to be your goal and there is something else out there for you.”

Antoine Petit

Sports: Dragon boat, V1, OC1, OC6

Years of paddling: 2014-2018

Favourite paddling team: False Creek Premier

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“When you want something in life, reach out and grab it”

Holly Rhodes

Sports: Dragonboat, pickleball

Years of Paddling: Since 1990s

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Holly Rhodes

“(Paddlers) become your family and the time spent together, whether it’s enduring difficult practices, participating in festivals, having pub nights or doing fundraisers, it all lends to a sense of belonging.”

Bill Robillard

Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, retired meat-cutter

Years of paddling: 1 so far

Teams: FGPC Momentum, Outrigger

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Bill Robillard

“I sort of thought that at age 63, my athletic competitiveness was over, but I found a rebirth in paddling. And then you get kind of a rebirth again in thinking about maybe one day traveling to some exciting international events, too. It’s a whole other world opened up.”

Lynne Stokes

Outrigger, Dragon Boat, mountain biker, weight trainer, soccer and flag football. Medalist in multiple World Police and Fire games in mountain biking, indoor rowing, arm wrestling and bench press.

Teams: FGPC competitive outrigger, Canadian National Women’s 50 Outrigger team in Tahiti 2017, IVF World Distance race.

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“I am most looking forward to racing and training with the FGPC competitive crew again. As the saying goes, six bodies, one mind, one spirit.”

Dianne Takasaki, 64

Nursing Unit Assistant, Victoria General Hospital

Sports: Paddling, Yoga,hiking, influenced by CrossFit.

Favourite or notable paddling teams: Momentum

Years of paddling: 7

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I have such respect for the club in terms of how they’ve managed to let people continue (in the gym and on the water). What they do in terms of the right steps and protocols and everything is amazing, probably next to the hospital, the best I’ve seen anywhere.

Heather Taylor

Sports: Dragon boat, marathon canoe, outrigger

Years of paddling: 40

Favourite or notable paddling teams: False Creek Racing Canoe Club’s women’s competitive dragon boat program and FCRCC’s outrigger programs, World Sprint Championships (1994, ‘96. ‘98)

Click here for full profile

Connections are important, and it’s important that we realize that connections are important, right? We need people.

Dale Wolowicz

Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, kayaker, SUP, retired nurse

Years of paddling: 5

Teams: Team Momentum, FGPC Outrigger program

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“I am appreciating life even a lot more because I can go on the water.”

Holly Wylie

Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, runner, Nanaimo Paddling Centre operations manager, coach

Years of paddling: 18

Teams: Vancouver Island Paddling, Nusa’Lon, Nanaimo Paddling Centre

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“I was thunderstruck. Dragon boat really connected with me because my best friend died of breast cancer. And I thought, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, in honour of her.”