Pyro Paddlers hit the water for St. Charles Riverfest
The Pyro Paddlers are ready to hit the water Saturday for their first race of the summer.
UIC’s dragon boat team will compete at the St. Charles Riverfest Saturday at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles. Races are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with UIC’s first race set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Teams compete throughout the day in elimination rounds.
Spectators are encouraged to bring signs supporting the team and wear red clothing or UIC apparel.
“What a great way to spend a Saturday, in the outdoors, near the lake, watching teams compete,” said Jenny Korn, team co-captain and a doctoral candidate in communication and gender and women’s studies. “Dragon boat races are fun for those competing and for those observing.”
The Pyro Paddlers team is composed of 20 members — students, staff, faculty and alumni. Dragon boat teams have 18 paddlers, a flag puller and a drummer who keeps the rhythm.
“This is not a sport to muscle through; it’s a sport that requires stamina while keeping in the same beat as the rest of the boat,” Korn said. “For our Pyro Paddlers, having a positive attitude is important too because we value teamwork, encouragement and support of one another.”
The team is ready to race in Saturday’s event. They will also compete in the Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy June 27 in Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St.
“The team has had more practices than last year at the same time of the season, so I feel excited that we are in an even better position of preparation,” she said. “I can’t wait to apply what we’ve done to the actual race this Saturday.”