Established: 2017 Team Members: 25 Type: Competitive Gender: Both Competes As: Mixed Practice Days: Thursday
Coach: Sharon Sebastian Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Years Coaching: 1 Years Paddling: 3
Coach: Michele Laye Hometown: Long Island, New York Years Coaching: 2 Years Paddling: 3
Team Blue is a group of disabled veterans and civilians that banded together to form an AZDBA Dragon Boat team in October 2017. As an adaptive team, they are equipped to support a wide range of disabilities – i.e. PTSD, TBI, MS, amputation, hearing/vision impairment, etc. They have evolved into a dedicated and competitive crew with one race festival already under their belts. Dragon boat paddling is beneficial as a core and endurance exercise, and it is a sport that is accessible for people from all abilities and walks of life. But more than that, it is a place for unity and kinship in the spirit of competition. Once a week these athletes meet at Tempe Town Lake as a paddling family to train as hard as any other team on the water. They have grown to know and love the sport as well as each other’s personal celebrations and pain. They aim to expand to other festivals in the region and to grow their roster, sometimes requiring two boats during practice to accommodate all their paddlers. Since forming the crew, Team Blue has one festival under their belt thus far. But they are on the hunt for more bling in their future, and will be actively recruiting more paddlers for future races/festivals!