Living Root is a Boston-based dragon boat team that has been churning up the Charles since 2005. We practice aboard our two sleek dragon boats several times per week and we race around the country and in Canada. We hold practice year-round, which includes indoor practice during the winter months.
We provide extensive technical training to refine paddling technique and elevate race performance. Paddlers receive one-on-one outrigger canoe training sessions designed to improve form and endurance. Practices are tough workouts designed to build strength and endurance. We race to win, and have fun along the way.
And Meet Your Living Root Coaches…
Sandy Parker has been paddling with Living Root since 2006 and has been its President since 2008. An ex-rower with an inability to be away from the water for too long, Sandy drums for races and coaches paddlers of all levels. An avid athlete who is always trying to work on her own paddling, drumming and coaching technique, Sandy loves the challenge of getting 20 paddlers to perfect their form and put massive amounts of power in the water, all while having just a little bit of fun.
Dave Parker is Living Root’s team captain. He started paddling in 2006 and has been hooked ever since. No stranger to boats, he began sailing at 12, spent several years driving ships in the Navy, and now draws on his maritime experience to lead the team. An expert in paddling technique, Captain Parker excels at identifying problems and teaching solutions. Years of experience have taught him that truly anyone can become an amazing paddler with just a little training.
Scott Gilman is loud. Promoted to Living Root Dragon Boat Coach in 2011, he can be heard bellowing his encouraging commands up and down the Charles River all week long. Scott is a firm believer in core stability, strength and endurance training and focuses on conditioning his athletes to be the best. A decade ago Scott was obese and now uses Living Root Dragon Boat as a method to maintain his health and fitness levels. He can often be heard mumbling about technique when he’s sleeping.
Amy Gilman is Living Root’s Strength and Conditioning Coach and Sports Nutritionist. She has held her personal training certification for ten years and is also a Registered Dietitian. Amy specializes in functional training, weight management, corrective exercise, Pilates and other disciplines. Her job is to take you and make you a paddling machine! Pairing her expertise in training with nutrition she is a valuable resource and fine tunes the Living Root athletes. Amy has competed in Ballroom Dance, Martial Arts, Fitness competitions, and now, of course she is competing in Dragon Boat for Living Root.
Kai Pong has been paddling with Living Root since 2011. Starting out as a community paddler, he soon found himself funneled into the competitive ranks of Living Root. Kai is a great of example of Living Roots core belief: any person, regardless of athletic ability, can become a great paddler with just a little training! A firm believer in teamwork and technique, he has coached two community teams in the 2012 and 2013 Boston Dragon Boat Races.
Bryan Nelson began paddling with Living Root in 2009 and coaching in 2012. Raised far from water in the Midwest, he now spends three days each week on the water coaching, steering and paddling. He has found dragon boating to be the most enjoyable form of working out and the truest team sport out there