Think of it as very intense canoeing. Kate Middleton has been photographed and videoed more than a couple of times when she used to captain a dragonboat racing team. Whether it’s majestically standing on a boat or frantically paddling, the Duchess of Cambridge is more than enough reason for you to give dragonboat a try. By the way, Prince William is into the sport as well. Ha. Who knew dragonboat is the choice of sports of the British royalties?
But while the Duke of Cambridge said that there is no chivalry in sport, we give you other reasons to try dragonboat with the University of the Philippines Dragonboat Team (UPDT) aside from awakening your competitive spirit:
1. It’s an extreme sport. Dragonboat is a form of cardio exercise and it is the top calorie- burning workout after boxing and swimming. With consistent rigorous training, you will attain that dream body in no time!
2. It’s a water sport yet you’re not required to know how to swim. For those who don’t know how to swim or have the fear of swimming in big bodies of water, the best thing about dragon boat is that you will be spending most of the time on a boat, which means that you will remain afloat yet still enjoy the sea! But of course, knowing how to swim has its benefits.
3. It gives you the advantages of waking up early in the morning. UPDT’s call time for training is at 4:30am. After the training at 6am, there are still two hours left before work time, which you can productively utilize because of the pumped up energy from the early workout.
4. It’s a team sport! Dragonboat is a team sport. Aside from a drummer (also called the lead that commands the signal) and the steersman, a dragon boat crew consists of twenty paddlers for the standard boat, while the small boat consists of ten paddlers. Having teammates beside you (literally), there will always be someone to motivate you and who will push you to your limits.
5. You get to have travel opportunities in local and international destinations. Several bodies of water surround the Philippines. Dragonboat allows you to travel around the country to reach the stunning seas and lakes where races are held. UPDT has traveled together to join races in several locations in the countries. Among many are Cavite, Tanauan, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Ilocos, Davao as well as Boracay. Not only do you get to travel the country, but you also get to go overseas. UPDT joined races in other countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and even Sydney!
Want to try it out? Lucky you because the UPDT opens their organization to everyone who would like to try the paddling sport by hosting a dragonboat clinic every Saturday for the month of June until July in CCP Parking lot Manila, Philippines. (See map below) It will only cost you Php50.00 per session or Php150.00 per month.
Now what to wear and bring? Just your usual shirt or sando, shorts, rubber slippers, and sunblock. Bring water, preferably in a tumbler that you can bring with you in the boat. Oh, and don’t forget a big dose of dedication and good vibes!
What should you expect? The orientation will be integrated during actual paddle training. An ample amount of time will be allotted for teaching of sport terms and commands, handling of paddle, stroke cycle and proper form. All in all, it’s going to be a fun filled experience with the UPDT! So, see you on Saturday?