By Dragonboating EXCO ’22
Under the gruelling heat, you hold your paddle up high in the A-frame, the sound of your heartbeat reverberating through your ears, as your team awaits the race command. As the blaring sound of the airhorn pierces through the air, you plunge your paddle in the water, executing the stroke that you’ve been perfecting all year round for this one race. Adrenaline rushes through your veins. As you hear your teammates on the boat shouting “PRESS PRESS PRESS” in unison, fiery flames of passion engulf your heart.
Welcome to Raffles Dragonboating, and if this sounds appealing to you, we encourage YOU to come down for trials.
The concept of a team is the essence of Dragonboating, where an individual cannot be expected to propel the team forward by themselves. A team must be in unison, each member contributing their utmost effort in paddling, for the team to reach the finish line in the shortest possible time.
In our pursuit to hone our abilities and develop team spirit, we train together 3 times a week—once on land (Monday from 4.30-6.30pm) and twice on water (Wednesday from 8-10am and Friday 4.30-6.30pm). During land training, we mostly train in the gym and do some circuit training, whereas during water training, we head down to either the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) or Kallang Water Sports Centre (KWSC) to practise our strokes. All our efforts culminate in the annual A-division competition, where we pour all our hard work into finishing the 200m race, the single defining moment.
Girls Team in Action!
Boys Team training at Kallang River
While our heavy focus on discipline may seem daunting, our training sessions are always lighthearted – filled with laughter and jokes, even before and after training. CCA provides an avenue for us to escape from our stress and worries, with training sessions that leave us utterly exhausted but deeply satisfied. Home is where the heart is – and we assure you, the warmth you will experience in our CCA is unrivalled, as you will be able to find solace in the sport, and in your teammates.
Training is intense and arduous. More often than not, your jerseys will be drenched in sweat, and your whole body will be sore from training. Regular runs and workouts outside of CCA time are expected from all members to improve their strength and stamina. While this might seem tough, no one starts off in perfect physical condition. As the saying goes “No Pain, No Gain”, and it is only through pushing and challenging yourself, that there will be progress and fulfilment. However, regardless of where you start off, the team will be there to support you every step of the way.
At the end of each Friday water training, the beautiful sunset over the deep blue water accompanied by the sounds of laughter from your teammates makes Dragonboating the perfect end to the hectic school week. Indeed, CCA is truly the highlight of our week for most of us dragonboaters and we would like for YOU to come share this happiness with us!
Fret not, there are no prerequisites for this CCA. As we are a developmental sport, everyone is welcome to try out. All that we ask for, is discipline to the sport, and dedication to the team. As long as you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the challenges of this sport, we welcome you to join our Raffles Dragonboat Family.
*Pictures were edited and taken in compliance with SMMs