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Dragon Boat Team Driven by Gator Pride

Driven by a drum beat, the University of Houston-Downtown’s (UHD) Dragon Boat team is ready to paddle to victory this season. The team is gearing up for upcoming races and is seeking new members.

UHD’s Dragon Boat team has been participating in local and statewide races since 2010. Its next contest is scheduled for May 4 during the Houston Dragon Boat Festival at Allen’s Landing (near campus).

“We’re seeking students, faculty, staff and friends to be a part of the team,” said team captain and adviser Andrea Sears, administrative assistant 3 for University Advancement. “It doesn’t matter if they don’t have experience. Dragon Boats are about having fun and community engagement.”

Interested Dragon Boaters should contact Sears for more details. She said that all team members undergo training and not everyone is required to be on the actual boat. Team members can also assist in carrying the boat to the water or help during the docking process.

“This team is for everybody,” she said. “There’s a role for everyone on the team.”

Dragon Boats are long, narrow canoe-like watercrafts (often outfitted with a dragon head and tail) that seat approximately 20 team members, who engage in synchronized paddling. A drummer or caller is also aboard the boat to guide the pace of the paddlers. Races extend between 250 and 400 meters in calm bodies of water.

Since the UHD team’s inception, it has won nine championship trophies. While the victories are nice, Sears said that the team is focused more on camaraderie and promoting Gator Pride.

“Dragon Boats are an excellent opportunity to bond with others outside of work or class,” she said. “It’s a fun activity that not only showcases our university, it brings awareness to the ancient sport of Dragon Boat racing and allows the team to engage in a fun, healthy activity.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.