By Raffles Dragonboating
PADDLES UP! When you think about dragon boaters, what comes to mind? Is it their broad shoulders? Or their massive biceps? Be assured, there’s more to dragon boating than the physical strength and endurance it requires. More than being fit, a dragonboater is one who is disciplined, committed, and puts his teammates first.
SET-UP! To excel in our sport, just like countless others, dragon boating requires hours of intense training and practice to not only build a strong physical foundation, but also perfect our form and achieve the most efficient stroke. Furthermore, strong team chemistry is needed for us to paddle in unison and propel our boat forward as fast as possible. For this reason, we usually have training three times a week, with one land session in the school gym or track and two water ones at the Kallang Water Centre. We also do a lot of self-training, whether it be going to the gym on our own accord, dropping by the pull-up bars every morning for a few quick sets, or even practising our strokes in our free time. Sometimes, we may also have sessions at the pool to refine our paddling skills. The frequency of training sessions does not change during holidays, but rest assured, it is not held on a weekly basis.
However, in light of the COVID-19 situation, most of our training sessions have been shifted online and water training venues have been shifted to the school’s swimming pool. In spite of the circumstances, the onus is on each and every one of us to maintain our fitness, be it through simple calisthenic exercises or going on runs.
GO! Our efforts culminate in the annual DBS Marina Regatta, where various schools come together to compete in a 200m race. Unfortunately, this year’s competition was cancelled, but we hope to be back next year to stake a claim at the podium in honour of our seniors.
EASY! While dragon boating might seem strenuous, it is ultimately the people alongside us who spur us on. Everytime we want to throw up, stop rowing, or give up, our family is there to support us with encouragement, support, and a lot of banter. No matter how hard training gets, we are there for each other on every step of our Raffles Dragon Boating journey. Because on the boat, we are one.
All in all, if you want to grow not just physically, but as a person, dragon boating may just be the CCA for you. Being a developmental sport, we accept individuals from all backgrounds and there are no specific prerequisites. As long as you are passionate, disciplined, willing to give your 100% in every training session and are a team player, we welcome you to our family! RAFFLES ROW!