Dragon Boat Team Challenge roars into The Woodlands for the 23rd time this September

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 08/06/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – The 23rd annual YMCA Dragon Boat Team Challenge, presented by Repsol, is back. Taking place September 29 through October 2 at Northshore Park on Lake Woodlands, this is a wildly popular and energizing event featuring dozens of teams competing in hardcore teambuilding exercises.

Registration is going on now for this venerable event

“Since 1999, teams come out and compete with everything they have for our coveted dragon award and bragging rights,” said the YMCA’s event director Roxanne Davis. “You know, with the past two years that we've had, our social health and our social interaction have really been disrupted. And now more than ever we just need to get out and have some fun. And that's what Dragon Boat is all about. It's all about connecting, having fun, getting out and helping a great cause as well.”

Davis points out the divergent and ubiquitous selection of teams of twenty that show up to compete in the three-day event, whether they be comprised of corporations, organizations, social clubs, book clubs, bible study groups, running groups, and many more. “If you've got twenty friends, that's all you need.”

The YMCA makes it easy to participate, and registration is currently ongoing. More information about registration can be found on our event page here.

The Dragon Boat Race itself was inspired by a piece of art that the undisputed Queen of The Woodlands purchased. Cynthia Mitchell, late wife of founder George Mitchell, was well known as an art collector. One day, she stumbled across a huge metallic dragon art piece; enthralled by it, she bought it and turned around to immediately donate it to the community. Naturally, a gigantic Nessie-looking art piece can’t be placed in just any yard, so it was excited to mark the southern edge of Lake Woodlands on Woodlands Parkway, where thousands of commuters see it even today.

As for this year’s event, Davis has looked past the past couple of years that were affected by the pandemic and expects full turnout this year. “We're here to reconnect and help the community get out, develop some team spirit, and just have fun,” she said. “But you know it’s also about the actual dragon boat races and the other events that allow adults to get outside and play and just have fun. And more importantly, you're raising funds for a great cause.”

The number of causes and programs that benefit the YMCA are a great reason to put together or join a team for the event. The funding of these projects from Dragon Boat and other events allow the organization to provide school supplies to families, or bring some holiday cheer to those in need, or even the ability to provide swimming lessons – which reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent – to families who may not have the resources to sign up for traditional lessons.

“So when you're out supporting YMCA events like Dragon Boat, you are helping us to serve the community and raise much needed funds for the cause,” said Davis. “Please join us; you can email me at and I will send you all the information. All you have to do is recruit a team, register and show up and be ready to have fun. Hope to see you soon!”

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