Dragon Boat Blog Updates

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This blog chronicles the journey of the Catholic High Dragon Men, to keep our brothers and friends abreast of the progress and development of our CHS Dragons. Training started in November and through these gruelling gym and wet sessions. The aim is to mould a cohesive team, rowing in one unison rhythm, to propel the CH Dragon Boat across the finishing line at the various National Dragon Boat races in 2018.

Though the training has started, we are constantly on the look out for more passionate and able men to join the team and of course ladies to provide the essential support (emotionally and in vital logistics). Training will no doubt be arduous, but with our brothers' and friends' support, we are sure the sessions will not only be enjoyable but fulfilling as well!

Save this page and follow the Dragon Men on this journey of discovery, pain, satisfaction and the sweet taste of success through this blog.


The Fellowship of the Dragon-Men

Recruitment of passionate and able men started in October 2017. A total of 30 participants signed up at the first calling. Although this is a CHA initiative and we will be participating in the various competitions under the Catholic High Alumni banner, we have roped in the larger school community – participants could include teaching and non-teaching staff members of our alma mater, parents of the school cohort, Dads for Life, old boys and of course CHA members.

With this initiative, we hope to foster closer relations between graduates of CHS with the school and build a even stronger sense of camaraderie, afterall our blood is Green, forever and ever.

Seeing the enthusiasm of the Dragon Boat team, Principal Ms Soh further encouraged the team saying that "this is a meaningful collaboration between CHA, Dads@CHS and the school, to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as foster a deeper connection with Chinese culture. This activity certainly strengthens the SAP character of the school."

Echoing the sentiments espoused by Ms Soh, Mr Lim Teng Sherng, President of the CHA addded: "As the alumni of a bilingual school with strong Chinese tradition and roots, I welcome the setting up of the CHA Dragonboat team. Taking part in the Dragonboat tournament is not only a way for its participants to partake in a traditional Chinese cultural event, it is also a way to bring CHA alumni members together. In addition, many old boys have sons in the school, and I hope that by joining the Dragonboat team, the Dads@CHA will become a role model for their boys, not only in terms of embracing Chinese culture, but also in displaying teamwork, grit and resilience. Most importantly, as the Dragonboat team includes stakeholders of Catholic High, it will be an important bridge to bring old boys closer to the school, staff members, our juniors and so on.

As this is an annual event, and CHA has the intention to take part every year, I encourage all CHA members to join us. Let’s row together, improve our fitness and meet new and old friends!



And the training begins

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The CHA Dragon-Men will undergo a series of training to build up their endurance and confidence. 10 sessions of gym training will be held every Thursday at the Fitness Workx Gym at the HomeTeamNS clubhouse gym. Each weekly 1-hour session will develop the muscles needed for the 500m dash across the water. 

The exercises were specially curated by coaches and will target specific muscle groups like upper body strength, biceps and other muscle groups that have been neglected over the years or even decades. Though training sessions will be conducted twice a week, our Dragon Men have been exercising and conducting their own individual sessions at their own time, own target.

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The Dragon men are all anxious and pumped for the wet sessions that will commence on 23 December 2017 at the Singapore Dragon Boat Association grounds at the Kallang Riverfront. 

And the objective is now set

The CHS Dragon Boat team has been formally registered with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association. Having paid the membership dues of $430 p.a., we have achieved official dragon boat status. This also allows to participate in the various sanctioned races in Singapore.

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Our ultimate goal will be the 2018 Singapore Dragon Boat Festival (SDBF). This is widely considered to be the premiere event in the racing calendar. It will be a gruelling 500 m course with more than 80 local and overseas teams competing in various categories.

To give the Catholic High Dragon Boat team more exposure and practice, Coach Wai Hong encouraged us to also race in the DBS Marina Regatta. This is an event that the team is now seriously considering. . 

With these 2 upcoming races, the Dragon Boaters will be stepping up their training regime -- weekly gym sessions will be increased to twice weekly and wet sessions scheduled to commence om 13 December. 

Leading our weekly Gym training is our dedicated Mr Adrian Gerard Seah. Adrain is a pilot by profession is a self confessed health nut. This puts him in the best position to guide the other members along. Some of us have not stepped into the gym since our younger days. Adrain's commitment is indeed an inspiration to one and all and his pointers have indeed groomed the unused muscles a good work out at each session. A big salute to Adrain.

Our Exco-in-charge of the Dragon Men, Mr Loo Kian Peng, declared that "this momentous event will be a significant milestone for CHA. Since this is the CHS Dragon Boat's inaugural race, we remain humble and have set ourselves a modest target. Aiming for the podium shall be reserved for the futue years, but for now, it is to get our feet wet and get a taste of compeitive dragon boat racing. To see the school community coming closer as 1 united Green Blooded group is satification enough. I am sure every CHS son will grow up to be even prouder to be a CHS old boy, to see their elders competing at a National Platform. Perhaps we may inspire a new generation of Dragon Boaters!"



And the Dragon-Men test the water

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23 December 2017 will be the baptism by water for the CHA Dragon Men. This is the day we have worked so hard for. From the moment we signed up to making the commitment to do our absolute best, attending gym sessions and sweating buckets, discovering long-lost muscle groups....  today, we finally tasted first hand the sensation of being in the boat.

Reporting at the OCBC Arena at 7am, a roll-call was conducted where afterwhich, the troop of 16 brave young boys trekked to the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SBDA) grounds at the Kallang River. 

Despite it being that early in the morning, being up close to the water woke us all up, especially seeing other seasoned rowers forming up in their boats. We are fully pumped and raring to go. 

After a warm up session led by our PTI Adrian, we were introduced to our coach. He carefully spelt out the dos and don'ts when in the water and gave us tips on how to sit and how to hold the paddle. After all the formalities were completed, we were soon divided into 2 groups -- the Left and Right groups -- and after sizing ourselves up like a sine curve, we were all formed up. 

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We were soon donned in our gear -- Life Vests on and Paddle in our arms. 

Before we could say our ritualistic phrases, we were seated on the training boat, in the water. Boys becoming men! Men aspiring to be dragons.

Spending one hour rowing up and down the river was indeed an exhiliarting feeling. Under the watchful eyes of our coach, he made sure we reached the shores without any embarassing incidents. In fact we even "raced" another boat and won both times. These are the thoughts of some of the Dragons: 


"第一次下水訓練只是個開始,我今天起來,胸肌酸痛,從來沒有試過是正常,而且只是短距離。以後還要繼續改進正當的划船方法,不然是浪費精力。以後加長距離要夠氣夠力才不會行動不一。希望教練不要給太大壓力。" 陈国栋 


"Brings nostalgia since my younger days doing Dragon boating. Didn't even realise the mistake on my strokes. Good fun to see everyone enjoying "suffering" together. Still a long period of "suffering" together to see greater results. Thank God the boat moved.... Haha." Perry Sim Shang Yong


"Our first wet session was both an eye opener as well as a dream come true for many of us! It would have been our first time in a dragon boat. “ Paddles Up, 20 counts, begin!” and the paddles entered the water thrusting our boat forward. Slowly but surely, momentum and speed picked up. At the end of it, blisters and sore muscles were our trophies!" Adrian Seah


"Never thought I would be asked to do pumping again since I left the army; but today’s short burst exercises, which included push ups, were quite refreshing. Glad we did it, otherwise, I would have suffered more muscle aches after the water training. It was well organised and executed. Easy going for a start! Thanks guys!" Nicholas Lim


"Siong for someone like me who stop exercise for years but fun to see many of the same kind in the team. Let’s sweat and get wet together! Huat ah!" Thomas Lim


"公教龙舟 is a significant formation comprising the Alumni, Dads@CHS and the Gentlemen. Its a journey where we challenge ourselves, demonstrate determination and teamwork. We want to show the young gentlemen that Goals can be achieved when you put in enough effort." Raymond Chua

See the joy of these Dragon Men first hand in the following photos. 

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Folks, you are welcomed to join in the fun by cheering them on at the next Wet Session which will held on 13 January 2018 at the Kallang River. So see you at the SBDA Grounds at Kallang at 8am! And those who are still deliberating, wait no more. Registration is still open and we encourage all men, young and not so young, to come join in the fun and be a CH Dragon Man!

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