The Schuylkill Dragons, founded in 2001, is the oldest continuously active women’s dragon boating team in Philadelphia. The team includes paddlers of all levels ranging from beginners to those experienced in international competitions. This team of women, ranging in age from 20s to 70s, continues to shatter society’s preconceived notion of aging and to create great role models for women of all ages. The team provides challenging, well-organized, coached workouts. Some members focus on local, regional, national or international competitions while other are involved to keep fit.
The Schuylkill Dragons (SDs) is a women’s dragon boat team whose members are committed to supporting each other in building healthy bodies and spirits, promoting team spirit and a willingness to work together, learning to compete at their best, and introducing this fun sport to others.
The team employs coaches who will work with all levels of paddlers, teaching the basic skills to beginners and refining the skills of experienced paddlers. They prepare the team to be competitive at local, national, and international events in Premier, Masters and Grand Masters classes.
The Schuylkill Dragons are coached by three stellar coaches: Co-Coaches Stacey Scanlan, Lora Dunnigan, and Karen Anderson.
I became hooked on dragon boating since I first sat in a boat in 2013 with the Schuylkill Dragons. I have always had a passion for water and boats, and the SD’s provided me with the outlet and resources to take that to the next level and beyond.
Coached by Joann Fegley and Megan Roberts I was given the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to progress to the coaching level. Welcomed by all loving members I was given the motivation, determination and camaraderie to push myself and have what already feels like a lifetime of experiences. Combined with the training under several other top coaches over the years, I’ve consumed a vast amount of paddling information.
Since that first day on the water, I have raced and trained locally, nationally, and internationally with the SD’s and my other teams Philadelphia Outrigger Canoe Club (POCC) and Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association (PDBA). I also travel and race in my own OC1 in small boat competitions.
I have trained and time trialed through four cycles of Team USA, making the team three times in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
The Schuylkill Dragons have been a passion in my life since joining in 2011. Over the last 10+ years I have spent a multitude of hours paddling, socializing, and serving with this incredible group of women.
With the SDs I’ve traveled to World Championships in Italy, Hungary, and Sarasota FL. I was chosen for the Senior B USA National team in 2019 and 2021. Wherever I go now, I seek out a local team who are always thrilled to welcome a fellow paddler for a team practice. Since 2012 I’ve started the season with a full week of Spring Training camp in Indian Harbour, FL.
My formal training as a coach began with the SDs “Coach in Training” program under world-class coaches Joann Fegley and Megan Roberts. I also completed the Canadian Level One and Level Two Coaches courses and the USDBF Steers’ Course.
My goal as a coach is always safety first, hard work, and of course fun!
I have been a member of the Schuylkill Dragons (SDs) for 13 seasons. Of those 13 seasons, I have paddled competitively all over the country, spent 5 years as a board member, including 2 years as team president. My leadership roles include drumming for the SD’s after my first season and drumming for Team USA Sr. C Women in the 2015 World Dragon Boat Championship in Welland, Canada.
I was mentored by our former coaches Megan Roberts and Joann Fegley as a “Coach in Training” and have assisted in coaching our successful Rookie Program since its inception.
Being a member of this team has been a life changing experience for me. Never have I been surrounded by such strong, positive women of all ages, backgrounds, and life experiences who just by dipping their blades into the water become one.
The Board of Directors of the Schuylkill Dragons make the business decisions for the team. This includes hiring and managing the coaching staff, purchasing and maintaining the team’s property (boats, outrigger canoes, equipment), scheduling practices and races, running fundraising and social events, as well as many other details involved with the team.
There are currently seven Board members, who are elected by the team members for two-year terms. The Board holds an official monthly meeting but communicates continually to ensure the smooth operation of the team.