Welcome to Nanaimo Paddling Centre

Learn To Paddle!  Get Fit!  Meet New Friends!

The Nanaimo Paddling Centre (NPC) offers adult co-ed recreational sports in Dragon Boating and Outrigger Canoe for outdoor adventure, social events and festivals for people ages 19+. Click here to learn about recruiting new paddlers.

Our club and events are a great way to exercise and stay healthy, expand social networks, and try new sports. We also offer Youth Groups ages 14 – 18.

Paddle With Your Co-workers & Employees

If you are looking for a way to build teamwork and camaraderie within your staff while keeping them happy and healthy, then you have found the right place. Click here to read more about building you corporate team.

The History of Dragon Boating

The roots of dragon boat racing date back to the 4th Century BC in China. According to legend, Qu Yuan, a revered poet and statesman, hurled himself into the Mi Lo River to protest the corrupt regime of the reigning Chou Dynasty emperor. When local boatmen saw Qu Yuan disappear beneath the water, they raced out to save him. Sadly, they were too late.

Fearing that his body would be preyed upon by fish and evil spirits and other denizens of the river, the boatmen beat their paddles furiously upon the water. It is said that they also threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river as a sacrifice to his heroic spirit.

Over time, dragon boat racing became a way to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan and to celebrate his heroic spirit. Today, Qu Yuan’s death is honoured each year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month at Dragon Boat Festivals around the world. Rice dumplings are now considered a festival delicacy and are wrapped today in bamboo leaves instead of silk. Before each festival ancient blessing rituals such as “Awakening the Dragon” (rousing the dragon boats to life by a special eye-dotting ceremony) are performed.