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Entering The Semi-Finals Of The 500m National Premier (Open) Is Such An Incredible Feeling!

Posted on 9 July 2018 by Loo Kian Peng

 SDBF 500m 2018 01

The Singapore Dragon Boat Festival (SDBF) 2018 was held on 7 and 8 July at the Bedok Reservoir. This is the penultimate race of the local Dragon Boat racing calendar. The Catholic High Dragons was entered in the National Premier (Open) category, racing against traditional powerhouses like SPC (Singapore Paddle Club), the various expatriate teams: American Dragons Singapore, Austcham Paddle Club, Armada (Spanish), German Dragons, the various tertiary institutions and Community Sports Clubs (CSC). 

The Catholic High Dragons' recent experiences at the DBS Marina Regatta -- achieving a Personal Best time of 56 seconds in the 200m race -- has given the team added optimism and extra confidence, knowing that as long as we followed the coach's commands, focused and paddled as one, adrenaline at the races will be the secret potion to boost our results. 

And so, after rowing as a team for six months and 22 wet sessions later, here we are. Competiting against seasoned teams who have been paddling together for years. 

The atmosphere was buzzing. The weather was perfect. Mildly overcast skies. Gentle breeze all morning. All these contributed to ideal race conditions, giving all teams the perfect opportunity to excel! 

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The team was on site as early as 6am, securing prime location to set up the team's base. Everyone operated together, pitching the gazebo, setting up massage benches, stocking up on water and isotonic drinks, box full of bananas and water melons. It was like a weekend picnic at the park! 

All too soon, the race day commenced and as event 8 approached, the team gathered for their warm up routines and pre-race briefing. You could feel the whole team coming together with razor sharp focus on the race ahead. 

Before enter the marshalling areas, the team huddled and prayed for a good, safe and successful race showing. 

Assigned boat 2, the Catholic High Dragons started in outermost left lane. With the withdrawal of Defenders and NTU, Heat 4 was left with 3 teams. Our competitors were 2 formidable expat teams -- the British Dragons and Armada (Spanish). Undeterred, the Catholic High Dragons had only one mission in their sights, to finish the race in style and show everyone what we are capable of. 

As the race command "Are you ready... Attention..." and race horn sounded, all 3 teams charged forward. With a good and powerful start, the Catholic High Dragons matched the two expat teams stroke for stroke and were neck and neck. The inexperience of the team showed as they were soon overtaken and crossed the line a boat length behind. The time of 2.24.844 sent cheers of jubilation through the entire Catholic High Dragons team. Another personal best result! The target of 2.40 set by the coach was shattered by at least a mile! Coach Wai Hong was grinning ear to ear, but with the repechage coming up, he spent some time giving the team additional advise on how to approach the next race. 

Event 24, Repechage 2 for the Singapore National Premier Open. The Catholic High Dragons lined up against Kembangan Chai-Chee, Team Onestroke (Queenstown CSC), SIM and Punggol Coast CSC. Unlike the Heats, the Catholic High Dragons will form up against an all-local line up who have all been competing regularly for years. 

And they are off! Again assigned the outermost left lane, the Catholic High Dragons charged down the lane with another good and powerful start. All five boats were inseparable for most part of the race, and the supporters of the Catholic High team were treated to an exciting race. What a showing by the young Dragons! Kudos to the team for putting in such a fantastic performance and making all Catholic High proud. The time of 2.24.308 was even better than the heats! Another personal best record broken. 

The team may not have come in first, but they were still in contention for a 3rd race -- the semi-finals. Even coach was optimistic, giving the team strict instructions not to leave Bedok Reservoir. The BBQ celebration can wait. 

Cries of disbelief engulfed the Catholic High Dragons team when the line up for the Semis was announced. Semi-final 3. Lane 6. Unbelievable. Who would have thought this young team comprising paddlers who could be dads or grandfathers of a majority of the participants would be competing to enter a National Finals! 

After 2 hours, recharged and refocused, the Catholic High Dragons proudly stepped through the marshalling gate for their 3 race of the day. Defying the tiredness, aches and pains from the previous 2 races, the team proudly formed up to create history. The supporters stood in awe of the team and silently prayed for another miracle. But against the powerhouses like Austcham, the Americans and SPC.... a miracle of epic proportions would indeed be required to create an upset. 

By now, the gentle breezes have also awoken to the awesome atmosphere at the race. Strong winds made the afternoon races even more challenging. The Catholic High Dragons have clearly learnt from the previous events and were unfazed by the intense start. Another great start saw all teams tear down the lanes but the focus of SF 3 were firmly fixed on lanes 2, 4 and 5 --  Austcham Paddle Club, SPC and SAFRA Dragon Club. SPC emerged victorious in this semi finals with a time of 2.07.222. The Catholic High Dragons did admirably, crossing the line at 2.26.009, a shade slower than the previous two events. 

Despite being eliminated at the semi-finals, the Catholic High Dragons can hold their heads high. Noone gave this young elderly team any chance. Unfit and inexperienced just six months ago, the team has shaped up marvellously. The team has proved that with the right commitment and dedication, miracles can, and do, happen. This has been a great day at the races and the cammaraderie, commitment and Catholic High Spriti shone brightly at Bedok Reservoir. The team out performed expectations by a massive mile, emerging as heroes in their own right.

With the season coming to a close after this race, the team will take a short break to recharge and re-energise. This euphoria would propel the team to be even more motivated and train even harder to give an even better showing in the years ahead. 

"Go Catholic High Dragons! Stand tall and stand proud! We salute you! 

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Roll of honour for the 2018 Catholic High Dragons: 

Team Manager: Loo Kian Peng 

Coach:              Chin Wai Hong
Assisted by:      Kimberley Madella Chow

Team Captain:  Adrian Seah 
Vice Captain:    Perry Sim


Mark Chen   John Peh
Andrew Chng   Alexander Seah
Kok Sen Ho   Edwin Tan
Dennis Lee   Julian Tan
Richard Leong   Tan Shei Wah
Lim Teck Mia   Ronald Varghese
Alvin Lim   Daniel Wang
Lim Teng Sherng   David Wong
Lin Zi Chao   Gerald Yip
Kenny Liu   Mark Yuen 
Kelvyn Ong    





The Catholic High Dragons at Connexions, CHS Family Day cum Homecoming 2018

Posted on 1 July 2018 by Loo Kian Peng

family day 2018 01

The Catholic High Dragons was invited to participate at our alma mater's Family Day cum Homecoming 2018 which was held at the Bishan Campus on 30 June. The Dragon's participation at this year's event is two-fold: to lift the profile of the Catholic High Dragons amongst the community and more importantly, to recruit new paddlers to row under the banner of Catholic High School!

The Catholic High Dragons spent weeks preparing for Connecxions, preparing a set of recruitment collateral to reach out to teachers, staff, old boys, students and their families. These included a professionally prepared flyer and a 2 video clips. A group of 6 of our star paddlers were even invited to a special photoshoot where life-sized replicas in their full gear -- Personal Flotation Devices and Paddles were displayed at various vantage points around the school compound. This certainly created a buzz amongst those who attended the event!

The Catholic High Dragons team is deeply thankful to the school for endorsing the Dragons. The history of the team may be still be a short one, but the team has already flown the school's flag at two national events in 2018 -- the SDBF Century Race in March and the DBS Marina Regatta in June. The team will be competing at the penultimate event of the Dragon Boat calendar -- the Singapore Dragon Boat Festical (SDBF) on 8 July. To be able to row under the the Catholic High banner is an honour that each and every member of the team cherishes and feels extremely proud of. 

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You too can join in the fun and paddle for Catholic High School! We invite all old boys, their families, all staff of Catholic High School and secondary school students to be a member of the Catholic High Dragons. You don't need to be have any prior dragon boating experience nor do you need to have a superman physique to be a dragon boater. You will be given the necessary guidance and a professional coach will be on hand to guide you on how you should hold the paddle, how to execute the strokes and the strategies taken to be competitive. This is an opportunity to gel with your team, to be a part of a cohesive family and to experience the agony and highs assoicated with a high adrenaline sport. Interested? Please drop a line with the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would be holding a trial session sometime in July / August 2018. So don't delay, join us today!

The team would also like to send a sincere shout out to our principal, Ms Soh Lai Leng Magdalen, and her organising team members for Connexions 2018, especially Ms Debbie Chow, Mr Edwin Heng and Ms Se Yean for your invaluable  assistance throughout! Thank you Prinicipal. Thank you teachers!

The Catholic High Dragons at the DBS Marina Regatta 2018

Posted on 3 June 2018 by Loo Kian Peng

DBS Marina Regatta 2018 01


The Catholic High Dragons participated in the DBS Marina Regatta which was held at the Marina Promontory @ Marina Bay on 3 June 2018. The Dragons were signed up for the Prermier Open and competed against a field of formidable opponents in Event 10. 

Forming up in Lane 6, we were rowing against teams from NTU, Singapore Polytechnic, SAFRA, Singtel Rec Club and Paddlers Against Limits. Rowing conditions were sort of perfect, the sun was peaking out from a layer of dense clouds, the atmosphere was electrifying and spririts in the boats were high. However, just as the race was about to start, the wind became rather excited and gusts picked up strength from the port side, making a turbulent start to the race. However, the teams were focused on the task ahead and paddled furiously.

Reflecting on the performance on shore, the team was disappointed that the timing was not quite as what was expected. Regardless, the Dragons persevered and did not give up, pstching each other up to do even better in the next event --  the repecharge event seheduled right after the lunch break. 

In the repecharge, the team once again occupied lane 6. Determined to put in a better showing, the team sped off the lines and kept the frenetic pace, something the team has been training hard for in the past 6 months. Upon crossing the finish line, the team was delighted to know that the Catholic High Dragons were amongst the top finishers of event 21. The Catholic High Dragons even broke the personal best timing, crossing the line at 56 seconds. This is the first time the team actually broke the minute barrier. 

Despite not qualifying for the semi-finals, the team was delighted with their results nonetheless. Now to train for the main event of the race calendar -- the 500m race at the Singapore Dragon Boat Festival to be held in July. With only 1 month to train for this most strenous event, the Catholic High Dragons can't wait to get back into the boat and train even harder for this challenging event.

Join the Dragons at the event and cheer your team on!  Go Dragons!

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The Catholic High Dragon’s Maiden Competitive Outing

Water Sports Centre, Singapore
10 March 2018


The Competing Dragons and supporters

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

Tck Mia

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

Edwin chinese text

三個月的集訓,公教龍舟隊終於等到3月10號的比賽。對於大多數沒參加過比賽的隊友是一次寶貴的經驗。當天的兩場比賽反應了隊友的體力,划船速度及不協調還有很多進步的空間。比賽重要的是參予的過程,及增加隊員間的凝聚力。再次感謝蘇校長,會長,Wilson ,隊友家人的到場加油打氣。更要感激教練及健平不停努力協助達成所有的集訓和比賽。

- 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

all geared up

Forming Up 2

Observing the proceedings

Fellowship after the race2


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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