Griffins Committee


"Keep paddling they said, stay in time, you'll get the hang of it. What seemed very daunting at the time soon became a passion, and 5 years on, I'm both physically and mentally stronger and have memories and friends to last a lifetime.  

Nothing beats the adrenaline of racing, it doesn't matter your age, that fighting spirit surfaces as soon as you hear the starter call "Paddlers are you ready".

Dragon boating to me is not just a sport but a lifestyle."

Narelle Shields

Vice President

"I loved being on the water, but it was boring when there was only one person in the boat – I needed a team. I had heard the drumming and so thought I would try Dragon Boating, I was instantly addicted, that was four years ago.

I convinced some colleagues to come and try with me and rumours were that the Griffins were a fun team so we chose them and have not looked back.  Competitive fun, friendly and an encouraging environment is what we found in the sport and club. Also a great way to get fit.

Getting in the boat after a hard day at work and releasing that built up energy or enjoying the sunrise shining off the lake in the early morning or a lazy Sunday morning paddle, all while getting to know an amazing group of people from every walk of life – that is how to live and enjoy life!"

Leanne Gollasch


"I came to dragon boating for fitness, but found a whole lot more.  The Griffins are a diverse family who welcomed me from day one.  No matter your age or ability I found there is always a place on the boat for everyone.

I love the friendships, being challenged at each training session, working and improving as a team.  Highlights include the thrill of regattas, travelling as a team, and watching the changing seasons from the water."

Caroline Oshyer


"I've been with the Canberra Griffins since 2012 having been introduced into the sport through participation in a corporate regatta.

Dragon boating for me is a very cathartic form of exercise, you can't think about work and paddle at the same time and I often feel physically exhausted but mentally refreshed after a training session.

Dragon boating delivers fitness, fun and a degree of fanaticism.  

The Griffins have always been a very friendly, welcoming and accommodating club. It's my second family."

Martin Squire

Head Coach

"I've been dragon boating for about 26 years now with all that time being with the Griffins.  I keep coming back because of the people.  We are a great team inside a great community.  I love the diverse nature of the team and sport.  Although I'm competitive, for me, its more about giving it your all and good natured participation.

I've made lifelong friends in this sport, I've seen the highs and lows.  Through it all I've been amazed at how the Griffins pull together and support each other.
That's why I'm a Griffin and why I dragon boat."

Joe Murphy

Membership Officer

"I started Dragon Boating 4 years ago as I was looking for a new sport to try. It didn't take long for me to realise that I had found an amazing sport and an equally amazing club. 

It was a no brainer for me, Canberra Griffins was the club where I felt like I was welcome,encouraged and supported. I also love welcoming new paddlers to our club and sharing what I love about Dragon Boating with them. 

Travelling away for regattas is a highlight for me. They are always so much fun. And there is nothing better than the rush you get from regatta racing."

Amanda Wright

Social Media Officer

"I first noticed the sport of Dragon Boating many years ago in Blackwattle Bay, Sydney Harbour thinking I must try that one day so between bushfires and covid, I attended a ‘come and try day’ and have never looked back.
Dragon Boating is instantly addictive and never gets old. One of the reasons I love The Canberra Griffins Dragon Boat Club is that everyone gets a seat on the boat. Fitness, friendship and fun is the bonus.
We may be crazy mad fun and loud, but we do pride ourselves as an inclusive, competitive and family friendly Club."

Rita Kelly

Safety Officer

"I have been a member of The Griffins for a number of years now.  I would see these paddlers on the lake when I was walking and always thought 'I’d like to try that when I can commit to the practice'.

Eventually I did retire and then looked at the different clubs.  I contacted the Griffins and the rest is history.  What I love about our club is our inclusiveness, friendliness and competitive spirit.  We love competing in regattas and encourage each other.  I love to feel that I give my best in competitions and the exercise keeps me fit and healthy.  I feel it is important to keep moving and interact socially with others, and the Griffins provide a safe and welcoming environment to do so."

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Jane Hattley

General Member - Young paddler rep

"Over the past year, I have fully immersed myself in the exhilarating world of dragon boating. With each paddle stroke (Deeper), dragon boating is not just about exercise; it's also about working together as a team with my fellow Griffs to succeed on the water. I've learned the importance of discipline, perseverance, and friendship on this journey, and I'm excited for more years of fun and challenges in this sport. The Canberra Griffin team welcomed me with open arms, making me feel like a valued member from day one."

Kate Gillard

We Support