December 9, 2014: Master dragon boat trainer, Connie Flesuras, is currently in Trinidad and Tobago engaging in an intense but exciting dragon boat coaching and paddling clinic with dozens of students and coaches from the Northeastern part of Trinidad.
Flesuras’ visit was facilitated through a grant from the U.S. Embassy to the North Eastern Dragon Boaters Association (NEDBA), which has been involved in the dragon boat racing sport since 2012.
The clinic’s aim is to empower youths whose aspirations are to become dragon boat racing coaches. Over 40 youths from the Guaico Secondary School, North Eastern College, Sangre Grande Secondary School, Matura Police Youth Club, Bishop Anstey High School East and Trinity College East , as well as 20 coaches will be exposed to skills and techniques in paddling, coaching and caller/drumming. The sessions will be both theoretical and practical, with the latter taking place in Paragon Sports and Cultural Club.
According to Shallona Shallowe a Director at NEDBA and a 2013 Fellow of the Community Solutions program sponsored by the Bureau of the Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, “after working with Girls Inc. in Houston, Texas, inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold, I vowed when I returned home to focus my work on building sport leadership amongst rural women and increasing female participation in sports”.
“We are particularly pleased with the number of female paddlers and coaches who are participating in the program; women are often underrepresented in sport leadership activities and this training is an opportunity to get them involved at the coaching level.”
She said having Flesuras facilitate these sessions was an excellent opportunity for the participants to build on their skills, especially as many of them seek to participate in upcoming local dragon boat racing regattas and at the 2nd Pan American Dragon Boat Championships in Welland, Ontario.
Flesuras indicated that “The participants are very enthusiastic! I look forward to sharing my skills and knowledge and hearing about their experiences dragon boating in the Salybia River. And on Thursday & Sunday we will see them put their skills to the test as we close the program.”
Members of the media are invited to a press event with the students at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the Paragon Sports and Cultural Club.