Boston 1 is run completely by volunteers who are passionate about the sport and being on the team. Without the hard work and dedication of these members, B1 wouldn’t be as strong as it is today.
My dragon boat career started back in Montreal, Canada in 2007. Instantly falling in love with the sport, I co-founded student clubs at McGill University and University of Montreal as well as U23/24 team, TrueGrit (22Dragons). In 2012, I competed at the Club Crew World Championships in Hong Kong, winning two bronze medals, and at the Canadian Nationals, becoming the U23 Champions. I also had the pleasure of helping initiate the very first visually impaired dragon boat team in Montreal. In 2013, I had the opportunity to represent Canada at the World Championships in Szeged, Hungary as part of the mixed and open crews for the Canadian U24 National Team. Against all odds, we took all 8 gold medals. Ever since moving to Boston in 2013 to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering, I have kept looking forward. It has been my objective to elevate the dragon boat scene on the east coast and to develop athletes of all skill level into truly fast paddlers!
Currently, I hold the Dragon Boat Canada Level 1 Coaching Community certification and am acting as the head coach of the Boston One Dragon Boat Team. For me, dragon boat isn’t just a hobby or a thing I do on the weekend… it’s a lifestyle. And I hope to share my passion with you in the near future! Cheers!
After high school graduation, my mother told me there is this group of awesome people who like to paddle in the salty waters of the Boston Harbor. I’m quite the introvert, so I thought I’d come out and make some new friends while I learn a new sport. I joined in a heartbeat, thanks to Boston One’s captivating personality since day one. I experienced many of my firsts with the team: First time drumming. First time yelling at a group of strangers to paddle harder during a race. First time completing an unassisted pull-up. First time taking a drink. First time competing at an international level. First time taking gold in a race. Now I’m obsessed with pull-ups and lifting heavy things. I also like to paint and read science novels.
Boston One is a wonderful group of welcoming, adventure-loving, and competitive people that I am honored to be a part of. And I am privileged to be an assistant coach to share what I have learned in the past seasons with everyone. Don’t be afraid of the water!
Along with Head Coach Andy and former Head Coach Vince, Lily co-Founded the Boston 1 Dragon Boat team in the winter 2013. Lily served as Head Coach until 2015 and is now an assistant coach. Lily started dragon boating in 2009 and began coaching in 2011. In 2015 Lily spent one season learning more paddling and coaching skills with the Dragon Boat East Club head coached by dragon boat legend Albert MacDonald in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Lily enjoys coaching a whole range of paddlers: from teaching technique to new paddlers to steering high-stakes competitive boats in international events. Lily’s greatest pleasure in coaching is to see dragon boat bring out the best in her paddlers: whether it’s breaking through physical boundaries or self growth and improvement.
I started paddling my first year in college and was hooked ever since. Dragon boating was instrumental in motivating me to get fit. Eventually, my training led me to try out and make the national U24 team and represent the United States on an international stage. Now I am entering my sixth season as a paddler and third season as an assistant coach for B1.
I started Dragon Boat thinking I’d splash around on the water and meet 40 new people to grab beers with. Next thing I knew my competitive athlete side was reborn and I wanted to help my team win!
I started Dragon Boat in 2016 and I credit our amazing coaches for how far I’ve come in such a short time. I had the honor of competing at the 2017 IDBF World Championships in Kunming, China as a member of the US Women’s Premier National Team. Premier women took home a Gold, Silver, and Bronze for the first time in USA history.
Now as an assistant coach, I want to give back and raise the competitive bar for Dragon Boat in Boston. I am ready to encourage and train with the next team USA teammates to reach their goals. I also want to bring the joy of Dragon Boat to anyone interested while maintaining the joy and fun that makes Boston 1 unique.
Hweedo was introduced to the world of dragon boat in 2012 on a fluke, motivated by fear of university’s freshman 15. Luckily, he fell in love with the sport and more substantially his teammates.
Since then, he’s led and grown his team from a 40-member recreational club to a 90-member high performance brigade of elite paddlers. He’s led the University of Toronto Engineering Iron Dragons as its Communications Director, President, Coach and Captain, leaving behind a legacy including 3 consecutive National Champions titles, 500 buckets of sweat, and a team culture of co-mentorship and allegiance to a common vision.
Along the way, he’s had the privilege to race with some of the fastest teams in the world including the New Dragons Racing Club at the 2014 Club Crews World Championship in Italy and most recently the Canadian National Team at the 2017 World Nations Championships in France. None of his accomplishments would have been possible without the support of phenomenal coaches, teammates and friends. He lifts sometimes… just kidding. He has no idea wtf he’s doing…
His #1 tip for bettering yourself: learn the basics, ask questions and help one another.
Current Board Members
As a founding member of Boston 1, I have been fortunate to watch the team grow competitively and socially over the years. All the while, the team and the sport has become a major part of my life. Therefore, I am excited about the opportunity to lead the team forward into perhaps our most exciting season!
Raised with a paddle in her hand since the age of 6, Maria grew up on, in, and around water in Ontario, Canada. She first discovered Dragon Boat in Calgary, Canada, and then became truly immersed in it after moving to Boston in 2016 to start a PhD and finding Boston 1. The team’s energy and dedication drew her instantly and she is thrilled to be contributing to help the team thrive — and to developing her fitness and paddling abilities. She looks forward to welcoming new team members and paddling together throughout the summer!
I believe in working hard so that you can play hard. One of the things that makes Boston 1 unique is that we are a group of young professionals who like to hang out together. We want to come together as a unit and support each other on and off the boat. Whether it’s drinks after practice or hikes in NH, come out and get to know us.
Having spent many years thinking she was bad at all sports, Katherine nevertheless decided to try a Boston 1 practice in June 2016 after being invited by a friend. She came totally unprepared without water shoes or even a water bottle, and could barely get out of bed the next morning because everything hurt. For some reason though she kept coming back, drawn by the team’s unique energy and her own determination to get better. Today she considers sticking with dragon boating one of the best decisions she’s ever made and hopes to prove to anxious newbies that by showing up to practice with a good attitude and willingness to work hard, you absolutely will get better.
Jess stumbled upon B1 two summers ago, hoping to make some new friends and get a good workout. She has considered this to be one of her best decisions upon starting university in Boston. Since then she has finally completed a pull up, unintentionally knocked one of the head coaches over the boat, and decided to take on the team’s social media position.
Former Coaches and Board Members