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.
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:
"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.
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!