Articles | Dragon Boat
Dragon boat racing is a very traditional sport which is held twice every
year. In some foreign countries such as Australia, it is a very
popular sport where people will train very hard for this very
special race to them. Here in Singapore, we also have our own
passion about dragon boating. So what makes some people so
passionate about dragon boating? Basically, it is the
togetherness, fitness and most important of all, passion. When
you are rowing in the boat, there is an extraordinary force which
drives you on although you are tired; when in a race, you will be
motivated by the morale of the team that you will sweat all out
to compete for the team; these are passion.
The Dragon Boat
For the Men’s team, it consists of 11 pairs of rowers, a drummer
and a coxswain, which totals up to 24 men. In a race the drummer
will be beating the drum to keep the timing right as well as keep
the morale high. The coxswain will control the direction of the
boat. Lastly the 11 pairs of rowers will concentrate on rowing
the boat forward.
I am from Singapore Polytechnic Dragon Boat Team which represents
the school in various dragon boat races such as Men’s Open,
Mix’s Open, and a race which only consists of tertiary
institutions, called IVP. The motto of the team is that we
believe that through hard work and determination, we will reach
our goal in winning the championship. We do not believe in giving
up easily and will bite our teeth together to pull through any
obstacle that comes in our way. Discipline is our way to build up
and to keep the team organized and will always practise
discipline throughout our training.
We will start to prepare for the race as early as 6 months before
the race. We have different types of training that we prepared
ourselves for the race. Training will be held three times a week
and even four times a week when race is around the corner. Each
training session is planned and conducted by our coach where he
will supervise us on our fitness as well as the safety of the
rowers. Basically we will have land training in our school on
weekdays and sea training at Kallang Sea Sports Club on weekends.
During land training, we will do cardio training or weights
training. So what falls under cardio training? Circuits training
is one of them. In circuits training, we will need to go through
different stations where each station will consist of different
exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups, or 100M sprinting etc.
For weights training, we will have different weight exercises at each
station where each exercise will train up different parts of our
body. Basically, we concentrate on our back, shoulder, leg and
bicep muscles groups and we will need to complete the number of
sets in a certain time that our coach instructed us to do.
Sometimes we will also do endurance running and rowing machines
at the start of the land training.
As for the sea training, we
will concentrate on our strokes and tactics. In dragon boating,
teamwork is a very important issue. Therefore it is very
important for us to train together often so that we will keep the
timing of our strokes right. During sea training, we will work
our timing and our coach will point out to us if he finds that
there are mistakes in our strokes. Sometimes at the end of the
sea training, we will pace with other teams so that we can know
where we stand and at the same time gain more experiences.
Every year, there will usually be 2 major races during June and
November. For the June race, it is held to celebrate the annual
Dragon Boat Race Festival. The distance for the June race usually
falls between 500M to 1000M. As for the November race, it is the
Regatta race. The Regatta race is usually held at Clark Quay and
held over 2 days. The distance for the race is usually 300M.
Although the distance is short for this race, it will be a very
competitive event as the timing of the teams will be quite close.
There will be a total of 6 events , which are the Men’s Open,
Women’s Open, Mixed’s Open, Men’s IVP, Women’s IVP and
lastly Mixed’s IVP. For the IVP races, we will need to compete
in the heats to get a good timing and be qualified for the IVP
Final. As for the Opens, we will need to qualify for the
Semis-Final before we can compete for a placing in the Final.
It will be an unforgettable and emotional moment when your team
finally clinched the championship medal after so many efforts and
sweats that have been put in the preparation for the race. But if
the team fails to win, it will not dishearten them. It will only
drive the team to train even harder for the next race; this is
what I call passion.
D – Discipline
R – Radiance
A – Active
G – Give all out
O – Original
N – Never give up
B – Be self-motivated
O – Organized
A – All-rounder
T – Teamwork
Reporter: Cheow Yu Yuan