By Caleb Choke (19S06E), Boys’ Captain, Tan Tee Lim (19S03R), Boys’ Vice-captain, Amanda Chen (19S03E), Girls’ Captain and Quek Ying Ting (19S06F), Girls’ Vice-captain
What image comes to your mind when dragonboating is mentioned? Perhaps you see a boat rapidly gliding across water… powered by some boys and girls with bulky biceps? Well, that’s pretty accurate. But there’s a lot more to dragonboating than meets the eye, especially here at Raffles Dragonboating where one not only learns a new sport, but also finds a new family.
Much like any other team sport, dragonboating requires hours of training not only to build our strength and hone our technique, but also to develop the chemistry between members. On top of strength and technique, synchrony is crucial in propelling the boat to the fastest it can go. With the aim of achieving this, we train 3 times a week; once on land and twice on water (if the weather doesn’t betray us). Rowers are also expected to train in their own time, particularly during off-peak seasons, to further develop their stamina and strength. Training this often may sound very demanding but what pushes our members through is the company of each other; our collective chants on the boat and the constant encouragement to get another repetition done are the driving force of our hard work.
Our CCA may appear to most as one that is extremely strict, disciplined and one that focuses heavily on raw strength and fitness, which can seem very intimidating. However, while discipline and fitness are important, our CCA sessions are far from just mundane routines. It isn’t uncommon to hear members crack jokes and laugh on the boat and, more importantly, each session brings us one step closer to our shared goals by allowing us to grow as a team. Believe it or not, regardless of how fit (or unfit) we were before we joined this CCA, there was still a lot of work that each and every one of us needed to put in to get to where we are now. Overcoming many challenges and pushing our limits together has strengthened our trust and belief in each other, forging strong friendships and creating a supportive family within this CCA.
Each year, we showcase our efforts after months of training at the DBS Marina Regatta, where we race against teams from other schools. Taking place sometime between the last week of May and the start of June, this event is the highlight of our journey as members of the Raffles Dragonboating team. With the burning desire to place, every member will give it their all for these race sets!
All in all, Raffles Dragonboating is a CCA that aims to help members grow not just in strength and skills, but also as people. In turn, the rowers we seek out should be highly committed to the sport, with the drive to be their very best for their team. Being a developmental sport CCA, there are no specific prerequisites. As long as you are willing to put in the time and effort to improve yourself and work with the team, we welcome you to join us! RAFFLES ROW!