The mission of the Baltimore Dragon Boat Club is: To promote and develop the sport of dragon boating throughout the Greater Baltimore area, Mid-Atlantic region, and when privileged, throughout other regions of the United States, Canada, and the rest of the globe; To promote community outreach programs, cross-cultural understanding, and corporate team building programs all with the sport of dragon boating as the central focus. To promote for persons of all ages the development of healthy bodies and spirits through physical activity and provide a venue for the establishment and growth of friendships and teamwork; and to conduct any and all other activities relating to the above.


The Baltimore Dragon Boat Club (BDBC) was formed by three dedicated paddlers in 2008 and has since grown by more than 100 members ranging from 10 to 83 years old. We are a motley crew of Marylanders and a tight-knit team that supports and challenges each other on and off the boat, all year round. Our members paddle for many reasons: fitness, camaraderie, competition, and fun.

Fitness: Dragon boating is a great workout that adapts to all fitness and experience levels. This sport strengthens the whole body—arms, legs, glutes, back, and core muscles—and builds cardio endurance. Paddling in unison also hones your mental focus, allowing you to dig deeper and push your preconceived limits.

Camaraderie: We are one boat, one paddle! BDBC is a fun, active, and cohesive team. We are more like a family than a club, and we invite all new members (at least 10 years old) to paddle for Baltimore. People of all sizes and skill sets; women, men, and non-binary; younger and older paddlers will find their place in our boats.

Competition: Our playful spirit combines with focus and fitness to fuel our competitive edge. There’s nothing like the joy of racing and bringing home some bling! As a team, BDBC paddlers can race at the local, regional, national, and international levels, and several members have paddled individually for the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico national teams.

The thrill of racing is unparalleled: paddling in sync with 19 teammates as the drummer beats your rhythm and the steerer yells “HOME HOME HOME!” You pull harder than you thought possible, propelling the boat past the finish line. Then celebration ensues!

Fun: Our team is full of active, optimistic, fun-loving people who are eager to help and support each other. The welcome and encouragement you find at BDBC makes fitness truly fun. Besides paddling, our members get together for HIIT workouts, yoga, climbing, dancing, stand-up paddling, and hiking. BBQs, birthdays, bowling, and movies are regular excuses to see each other. The Baltimore Running Festival and other local races are yearly favorites for many team members.


The Baltimore Dragon Boat Club (BDBC) is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2008 to advance the 2,500-year-old sport of dragon boat racing through competition, while generating its greater awareness among Maryland residents. We are also a member of the Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association (ERDBA).

The club was formed by three forward-thinking individuals who participated in the dragon boat race hosted by the Catholic Charities, a bi-annual fundraising event where Baltimore corporate teams challenge each other to races in the Inner Harbor. David Gaskin, Susan Troupe, and John Pezzulla, having participated with their respective companies in the races, wanted to continue dragon boating on a yearly basis for enjoyment, exercise, and camaraderie and so the Baltimore Dragon Boat Club was born.

Since 2008, three founders have grown to close to 100 full time members, with paddlers as young as 10. Members have participated in festivals and regattas in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Washington DC, New Orleans, Puerto Rico and Montreal, Canada. In addition to racing, the club owns three dragon boats from fund raising efforts.

The Under Armour Sports Complex serves as the Club's home base. The spirited group of like-minded paddling enthusiasts has fun and trains hard each Wednesday and Saturday from April to October.

No experience is necessary to join the club. BDBC welcomes paddlers of all ages (from 10 years old) and skill-sets. Whether your interest is recreational or competitive, our coaching staff will train you in safety, timing, and technique until you're in the boat gliding through the water, paddling in perfect unison with your teammates, one boat, one paddle!

Our team is full of positive, supportive, fun-loving, enthusiastic people, that are more like a family than a team. The welcome and encouragement you find at BDBC will make fitness easier to achieve. No one person is a team, and a team is nothing without its members.

Whether you join for fun or fitness, health or friendship, to learn or to compete...the Baltimore Dragon Boat Club is the place for you!


Our off-season land training is currently happening twice a week at a convenient facility on Key Highway. These hour-long sessions are spent on exercises that are designed to increase your endurance, stamina and overall fitness level so that you can improve your performance in the boat and be a healthier version of yourself. You will sweat alongside your teammates under the direction of a personal trainer that understands the needs of a dragon boat paddler and employs techniques that work the necessary muscles while getting your heart rate up and keeping it there. Land training is attended by club members with varying levels of physical fitness and exercises can be adjusted to accommodate specific problem areas as needed. Check the club calendar for training dates and times.



John Pezzulla

President, Director, Co-Founder

Susan Gallagher

Vice President, Co-Founder, Director

Pat Lenehan

Director and Race Management Committee Co-Chair, Coach

Ousa Tran

Director, Treasurer, Coach, Race & Practice Committee Chair

Sean Scott

Head Coach Emeritus

Chris Thomas

Director and Tech Committee Chair

Natalie Ramirez

Secretary and Community Relations Committee Chair


It takes several committees to keep the club operating smoothly, with each committee chairperson leading the efforts in their respective area and dedicating untold amounts of time and energy towards the good of the club. If you are interested in helping in any of these areas, please speak to the appropriate chairperson.

Mary Jane 'MJ' Ong

Race Management Committee Co-Chair

Felicia Scott

Social Committee Chair

Chandra Jackson

Survivor Committee Chair

Debbie Judy

Fundraising Committee Chair


If you or your business or organization is interested in learning about how you can sponsor our club, please contact us here.

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