SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM)--Many outdoor events took place this weekend rain or shine, including a free learn to row and paddle event at the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club today.

Ben Quick, Executive Director of the PVRC, tells Western Mass News, "Rowing, dragon boating, kayaking: these are outdoor sports. So we've always encouraged our participants to be ready for the weather."

Quick hoped the weather would leave a better first impression on those interested in learning how to row and paddle at Saturday’s event. The weather, as it frequently does in New England, had other plans. But those in attendance came prepared."

"Playing a sport that can happen in a little bit of rain you sort of dress for the weather," adds Quick.

The non-profit organization offers these free clinics to drum up interest in the sport.

"It's a recruiting event, dragon boating and rowing are sports that we love to teach,” says Quick.

“It's what we do. and when people express interest, we will lead them down the path of getting in a boat and learning how to do the sports."

On Saturday, the path was a bit slippery. Despite the rain, some of today's attendees earned themselves a spot in an upcoming race.

"[On] July 17th there will be a scrimmage, and in this scrimmage dragon boat teams will face off against each other and do a mini race on the river," says Quick.

And if you're wondering if you're cut out for the sport, you have the strength of 19 others to rely on, as a dragon boat is a canoe made for 20 people.

Training begins in the boathouse, and once you have the techniques down, it is as much of a good time as it is a good workout.

It's actually a very good workout. It's upper body, it’s core and you actually do use your legs even though they're not moving,” adds Sue Gouin, a dragon boat coach for the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club.

“You use your legs to push off, so it's a total body workout and it's just a lot of fun."

If you missed today’s event, the next clinic will take place on Saturday, August 7th. People ages 13 and older can learn how to row and paddle for free in rowing shells and dragon boats. No reservations are required, and the event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. rain or shine.

Additional details for the event or for renting kayaks from this location can be found below.

Learn to Row: https://www.pvriverfront.org/post/free-learn-to-row-and-paddle

Kayak Rentals: https://www.pvriverfront.org/copy-of-dragon-boating

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