When people ask me if I play sports or work out I usually answer with “not really, but I do dragon boat..”. Which usually comes off as a surprise to everyone because my physical stature is probably more suitable to be the drummer instead of a paddler on the boat.
I first started paddling about 3 years ago because a friend of mine heard of the opportunity to join Mon Sheong Youth Group’s dragon boat team, and told me about it. I was in 2nd year University at the time, and wanted to be apart of more extra curricular activities as well as have some sort of sport on my resume. Being someone who likes swimming, dragon boat was right up my alley since it is a water sport. And I enjoy team-based sports more because I’m not a very competitive person. Or I act very passively about it anyway.
Every season since then my friend Simon from the team asks me to re-join, but I was always unable to because I wanted to focus on my studies and it was difficult to make it to every practice as I went to school at McMaster which was out of town. However this year I was finally able to re-join the team!
I definitely enjoyed this season much more than the first because this season everyone on the team grew very close and that makes the sport, our practices and race days that much more fun. I feel like I made a bunch of good friends from the team and they are people that I would probably not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
This year we were apart of 3 different races and managed to win Gold in Division B in Non-Profit for 200m, Silver in Division P for 500m (yes, quite low..but keep in mind many of us are beginners) at the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival at Centre Island.
This year I also got to experience something that I didn’t think would ever happen to me – capsizing. That resulted us in last place in our qualifying heat of our last race, the Toronto Cup, but we managed to pull through and still win in Division B. Honestly capsizing was kind of fun, but also slightly embarrassing as we had to swim ourselves to shore with everyone watching. I still have not been able to find any pictures of it unfortunately.
But, I am definitely looking forward and excited for the next season which may tentatively start in October : D