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)
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.
“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.”
Dragon boater, marathon canoe, kayak, outrigger, retired health care HR professional
Years of paddling: 23
Teams: Team Momentum, former member of Island Breaststrokers
“They’re going to have to carry me off the Gorge.”
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
“It’s funny, because I realized there were at times periods of two to three days where I actually didn’t leave the house.”
Sports: Former outrigger, current dragon boat paddler, pickleball player and hiker
Years of Paddling: 7
“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.”
Running (half and full marathon), tennis, dragon boat, walking, hiking, pickleball
Years of paddling: 9
“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.”
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
“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.”
Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, kayaker, retired LPN
Years of paddling: 7 so far
Teams: FGPC Momentum
“It feels good to be part of something great. The club to me is a saviour.”
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.”
Sports: Dragon Boat, Outrigger, Strength Training, former football player.
Years of paddling: 7
Favourite or notable paddling teams: Hornets, Civil Serpents
“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.”
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
“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.”
Sports: Dragon boat, V1, OC1, OC6
Years of paddling: 2014-2018
Favourite paddling team: False Creek Premier
“When you want something in life, reach out and grab it”
Sports: Dragonboat, pickleball
Years of Paddling: Since 1990s
“(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.”
Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, retired meat-cutter
Years of paddling: 1 so far
Teams: FGPC Momentum, Outrigger
“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.”
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.
“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
“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.”
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)
“Connections are important, and it’s important that we realize that connections are important, right? We need people.”
Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, kayaker, SUP, retired nurse
Years of paddling: 5
Teams: Team Momentum, FGPC Outrigger program
“I am appreciating life even a lot more because I can go on the water.”
Dragonboater, outrigger paddler, runner, Nanaimo Paddling Centre operations manager, coach
Years of paddling: 18
Teams: Vancouver Island Paddling, Nusa’Lon, Nanaimo Paddling Centre
“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.”