New Dragons is a competitive dragon boat team affiliated with the University of Toronto.  

Dragon boat racing is the oldest continually raced sport in the world, originating in the 4th century BC on China’s Mi Luo River.  Using long boats sporting a drum, dragon head, and dragon tail,  teams send crews to compete against each other in a variety of distance races.  Each crew consist of 20 paddlers, a steersperson, and a drummer.  Dragon boat racing is a sport that promotes physical growth, and as a team sport, highly encourages bonding between the members of a crew.

Joining New Dragons will allow you to develop as an athlete in an environment that is welcoming and encouraging. As of Nationals this year, we are the top Canadian team in both the University and U24 divisions, and we have the experience needed to help you become the best athlete you can be.  We pride ourselves on our team culture, and we are confident that joining us means that you’ll find a sense of community in your fellow team members.


We don’t require any kind of athletic background to be considered for our team.  We have had plenty of members over the years where the off-season was their first introduction into working out and athletic training.

We accept members from outside the University of Toronto, and naturally this means we also accept members from outside New College.  We encourage people to join regardless of their university and/or college affiliation.

Knowing how to swim is not required to join the team.  During practices on the water, members always have a personal flotation device (PFD) equipped.  During some regattas, PFDs are mandatory, and in others, PFDs are optional.  However, you will always have the option to wear a PFD if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe without one.

For the off-season and tryouts, our training slots and fit tests are completely free.   The team fees will not be finalized until February, but our costs are typically lower than most teams.

You can get detailed information about the process of joining the team here.


During the off-season, veterans from the New Dragons team will be leading training slots in the gym.  We focus on developing strength and endurance using a variety of workouts that are easily accessible in the gym.  On Saturdays, the team meets to train together outside in Queen’s Park, weather allowing.

The off-season is between September and April.  If the competitive season ends early, then we also use the remainder of the season to work on off-season training.

We recommend attending our Saturday training slot as well as one of our other slots at the gym on a weekly basis.  This allows us to get to know you a bit better and keep track of your progress during the off-season.

We recommend that all of our members and recruits follow our training programs to ensure that everybody is prepared well for our fitness testing.  However, if you have previous athletic experience and an existing training program, we understand that you may want to continue following it.  If you plan on using your own training program, let our training directors know by contacting them through training@newdragons.ca.  If necessary, we will help round out your program to ensure you’re best prepared for our tests.

The fitness tests this year should be around mid October and late January.  They are meant to keep track of your progress throughout the off-season by recording your performance on a variety of components designed to best represent your general fitness.  The second fitness test in January will be used to finalize the roster for the competitive season.


During the competitive season, New Dragons participates in a series of regattas (boat races).  Typically we participate in a couple local regattas near Toronto, as well as the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival at Centre Island.  This year we will also be travelling to France to participate in the 2020 Club Crew World Championships.

For the 2019-2020 season, we expect to be training and racing competitively from May through August.

After the off-season, we start training on the water.  We paddle together and we focus on paddling form, cohesion on the boat, and endurance on the water.  

We practice at Sunnyside Paddling Club, on the shore of Lake Ontario.  It’s accessible using the TTC through the 80 bus down Parkside or the 501 streetcar down Queen.


You can contact us by sending an email to nc@newdragons.ca.  Feel free to contact us with whatever questions you might have about our team!