Annual General Meetings

Valley Dragonboat Club Presidents Report
31 July 2020

Since taking over the Presidency of the club mid last year I felt lucky and humbled to be given this opportunity to help grow and develop this club and sport within Wellington. I want to thank the committee and all club members for their support and effort throughout the season as the success couldn’t have been achieved without them all.

VDC is now in its 11th year and over the years our club has grown and matured into the largest club in Central Region. The backbone of this club was established by some dedicated individuals who are still with us today so I would like to mention Jacob de Feijter, Dave Lundon, John Pouterwa and Trevor Vickers who have always put the clubs interest first and help establish our grounds within Wellington.

VDC’s Executive Committee this season were all new to their roles and gracefully stepped up to the challenge. It’s been a learning curve, but since we have all been involved with the sport for some time and part of the committee it felt like a good fit. I would like to acknowledge Erin Webber and Kathryn Park who have put in a lot of time and effort over the year. Erin has done a fantastic job keep out accounts in check and bringing us into 2020 and Kathryn has not only been the clubs Secretary but also the ‘Chief National’s Squad’ organiser to help us achieve our goals to travel and compete at an elite level.

This season we also developed a more streamlined communication approach in welcoming new members and paddlers within the squad. This was mainly coordinated by Steph Jones who now sits behind the VDC Wellington email address and replies to all new prospects and coordinates with team managers to help form teams for the new season. Adding a dedicated person for this has helped maintain a register and grow the interest, I would like to thank her for this.

At the start of the season we welcomed Georgina Garret into the Team Manager role for VDC HEAT. She joined the club five years earlier and stepped up to this role this season. Georgina has sadly left Wellington and relocated to Australia for work. She has been an asset to the women’s team over the years and I would like to acknowledge her for this. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Kristin Cains for her work on the committee over the years. Kristin has stepped down from the Sponsorship and Fundraising coordinator role to pursue motherhood so I would like to express gratitude and congratulate her during this exciting time.

Some key achievements and highlights for the 2019/2020 season:

  • Highest ever recorded members since VDC had been established. With an extra 14 affiliated members who joined us on race days or trainings.
  • Four (FULL) VDC Teams competed in the Wellington Dragon boat Festival
  • Three medals won, all in grand Finals. Heat = GOLD. Green Machine = SILVER. Force = BRONZE
  • VDC HEAT Sweep, Dave Lundon getting Sweep of the Year at Wellington Dragon boat Festivals Prize giving
  • Good to see VDC teams socialising out of season. Not just a summer social event
  • VDC Paddlers competing Nationally with other teams within the RSO
  • A VDC Waka Ama team established within Hikoikoi. Completed winter training and races. More competitions locked in
  • Moved to online banking and Xero (away with the cheque book!)
  • Created code of conduct and made updates to the current constitution. (Still to be shared with teams and on website)
  • Establishing a new role within the Executive Committee – Health and Safety Officer
  • Continuous updates to our website – Thanks to Brie James
  • Hosted the largest open days pre dragon boat season
  • Paddlers selected for regional rep teams for Nationals
  • 2020 Nationals squad formed with new VDC merchandise

The 2020 season in Wellington was a huge success. There were some highs and lows and plenty of lessons learnt from this season. 75% of our club experienced capsize this year, most for the first time. I am pleased that we are able to appoint a Health and Safety Officer at this AGM to help complete our clubs requirements going forward.

Due to the current world events 2020 has brought it was unfortunate that our season was cut short, especially for the team’s training for Nationals. I know we are all eager to keep pushing, training and get back out on the water ASAP so the current committee will work with CRDBA to get some off season training and plan some open days to keep the interest alive with the sport we all dearly love.

Finally, I am excited to continue to help drive and progress the sport, not only in Wellington but in our wider region. I want our organisation’s goal to collaborate more with teams and clubs within our RSO. To achieve this we require the continued help and support from all our members this upcoming season to assist the committee with your ideas and input.


Rachel Sommerfield (Calvert)

Green Machine 2020

Valley Dragonboat Club Presidents Report
30 April 2019

Firstly, thank you to the Management Committee and Club Members for your support and effort throughout the season.  It was a great season with many accomplishments.

Some of the highlights from the 2018/19 season:

  • The club successfully expanded to four teams: Silver Dragons, Hutt Valley Heat Green Machine and 4th BwithU.  The Silver Dragons and the Heat grabbed Silver medals at the Wellington Festival.
  • The club competed at Nationals on Lake Karapiro for the first time with a standard boat mixed team and a small boat women’s team. The experience gave everyone involved lessons on what it takes to be competitive at a National level.  
  • The Silver Dragons put together a small boat crew with a couple of extras and competed in Shanghai. It was a great experience and lots of fun. The racing was fun as well, although a bit wayward at times. Also managed to come home with 14 Carbon Fibre paddles direct from the Chinese Factory.

Management Committee Retirees:

  • Thank you to Jacob for his dedication and continuing commitment to Dragon Boating in Wellington, also without him VDC would not exist.
  • Thank you to JP for his Fundraising efforts over the past 9 years, $61k raised at average of $6.8k per year, a valuable contribution. Some memorable events demolishing buildings, cleaning up after the sevens, thank God they left town.
  • Thank you to Kristin for stepping in for the past two years and helping keep the monies flowing, I guarantee the new treasurer will do away with cheques.