Imagine a sunny weekend on the Potomac River with 80 people paddling like mad in four colorful 45-foot-long boats to the loud beat of a drum while thousands of spectators cheer them on. That's dragon boating. And if you can imagine yourself paddling in rhythm with the team, cutting through the water toward the finish line, then join University of Maryland Global Campus's dragon boat team, the Virtual Dragons. Paddles up!

FAQs: Dragon Boating

Who can join the UMGC Virtual Dragons? +

This sport is open to UMGC alumni, staff, students, faculty, and friends. Training and the festival are held in Washington, D.C.

How do I join the UMGC Virtual Dragons? +

To get started, complete the dragon boat inquiry form. Please note that participation in this event is voluntary and at your own risk. Volunteers will be required to sign a liability waiver.

What is dragon boating? +

Dragon boating is an enjoyable and refreshing workout in the open air and on the open water. It is a team sport with a dash of culture and a great competitive spirit that is sure to bring out the athlete in you.

What are the requirements for UMGC Virtual Dragons team members? +

Being part of the team requires a time commitment of approximately two hours a week for practices, starting about a month before the races take place. As you are one of 20 rowers in a boat, every movement you make helps decide the outcome of the race. We work with you on conditioning techniques and overall fitness. You'll learn proper muscle and body movements and power strategies to enhance your contribution to your team.

What will I get out of being a member of the UMGC Virtual Dragons? +

As a member of the UMGC Virtual Dragons, you'll have fun while developing a sense of team camaraderie. You'll help bring attention to UMGC as thousands of spectators watch and cheer for us in the competition. And dragon boating is one of the best sports for strengthening the back muscles, shoulders, arms, and thighs.

When and where do the UMGC Virtual Dragons practice? +

Practice takes place in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Exact times and dates of practices, as well as locations, vary. Training sessions last about two hours, rain or shine. Even if we don’t get out on the water due to severe weather, we have rowing machines available for indoor workouts.

What should I bring to a UMGC Virtual Dragons practice? +

Dress in light workout clothes that will keep you reasonably warm, and be prepared to get wet: This is a water sport! A cap and a pair of wraparound sunglasses will help keep splashing water out of your eyes. Wear water shoes or old sneakers because your feet will get wet in the boat. Bring towels, extra dry clothing to change into after practice, and a small water bottle. Avoid eating at least two full hours before training.