The Catholic High Dragon’s Maiden Competitive Outing
The Catholic High Dragon’s first taste of a competitive race ace was the Sports Hub-SDBA Century Dragon Boat Race. Held on 10 March at the Water Sports Centre, the team of 13 brave men took to the waters against teams from various organisations, such as CCs, Banks, tertiary institutions and expatriate clubs.
The months of anticipation, the coach’s pointers and gruelling land and wet training sessions culminated in day’s races. Though the Catholic High Dragons were all secretly expecting miracles, main mission was to set out to cross the finish line. And the team did it! And with a bit of adventure too!
Principal Soh who proudly wore the Official Catholic High Dragon uniform personally cheered the team on before the team and encouraged the team to do their very best for both races. She was as excited as the boys who were stepping foot into a race boat for the very first time.
Now that the team has tasted the adrenaline rush of being in a competitive race, the target is to do even better in the next race. Coach Wai Hong has assured the team that the training intensity will only get higher, training will be tougher, so that the team we will be equipped to give our competitors a tougher race at the DBS Marina Regatta 2018 in June.
Our first dragonboat race - one down, hopefully more to come! Not everything went as hoped. Our inexperience showed, timing and coordination had much room for improvement. But we now know what it takes, and as a team, how to progress together. Knowing the way forward is the key. Let’s press on!
- Daniel Wang
Nerve wrecking first race!
Did not realise the race boat is so unstable. Everybody had a hard time adjusting to it. Good to experience it now than finding out later in July.
We know where we stand now and need to improve towards the July race! 加油！
- Lim Teck Mia
The race itself was pretty exhilarating even though the result was rather disappointing. But I believe that this is a good start for the team because I felt this short distance race has ignited the desire in the team to want to work harder for the next big one. NON DESISTAS NON EXIERIS !
- David Wong
- 国栋 (Edwin)
I had a mixed emotion about the race but mostly a happy, encouraging and adrenaline filled one. It was a good and heartening feeling that a group of us that have not seen or known each other 3 months ago was able to work as a team with a common objective to stay afloat and finish our very first race together as one united, Catholic High Dragons. At the same time, there was a realisation that despite not being able to put on our best competitive show yet, there is much that we can do together as a team to achieve even more not just for future races but that we can build better bonds and cohesion to propel our aspiration further, that is to do and achieve our best for CHA Dragons. It was a good and much needed experience to notch our first race under our belts and to build on what we have acquired over the very short 3 months, reflect and to come out stronger with a clear determination not just to carry the flag of Catholic High Dragons proudly but also to gel as a team to push ourselves even further to achieve a better competitive edge in all our future races. After the race, I have the believe and confidence in our team and my brothers that we can only get better with every race to come.
- Ronald Varghese
I was exposed to high intensity sports early in school days but being a swimmer, the sports was individualistic and demands on self discipline was key. Even in my early corporate days, individual performance was key in the corporate ladder climb.
The rude awakening was when you are exposed to responsibilities and a team to manage and that’s where managing a team and getting the team to work in unison was critical in your success.
Although years had gone by and we are managing larger teams and taking on more responsibilities across geographies, I often yearn to experience being in team sports. As much as I had been preaching about corporate team work, I had actually never experienced being part of any team sports before. Reason also partly due to 27 years of non-involvement in any form of exercise, I am often shy of participating in them. Usually adopting to be a sponsor while the team trains and fight for us.
When an offer to join dragon boating was moated through WhatsApp, the first thoughts of supporting the alumni came to mind and the opportunity to finally being able to participate in a team sports attracted me and I volunteered without hesitation.
I can remember the first session of water training participation, I was very eager before the training but after the session, I was questioning myself if I had gone overboard with “trying to be healthy versus killing myself” feeling. I persevered and decided to push on because we are by nature competitive and what was instilled “never give up” nature was there. After following the recommended 2 times a week gym training and multiple water training session, I am glad to be with this bunch of new alumni friends. We are building our sense of comradeship amongst the brothers and enjoy being in training with each other. I am glad that there is team working spirit going on within the dragon boat team. We welcome new joiners and are always very accommodating with each other because we have to row as a team to win and at the same time re-live our sense of school days happiness...
The century race was our team’s first exposure to competitive dragon boating and pre race anxiety had me waking up in the middle of the night. Jokingly, my wife was jealously complaining that I was never that excited when she was expecting all our 4 children.
Even though we were last in all our races, we are happy that through this race experience, we realise our faults and the need to improve our team coordination. No one can fault us as a young 3 months old team. We raced a good race and got our battle badge to boost. We look forward to many more training sessions. Even our wives are complimenting on our physique and it’s certainly a great boost to our self esteem.
Do come and join the call for brotherhood and feel the camaraderie amongst us and you will not be disappointed.
- Andrew Chng