Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aljunied Dragonboat Challenge 2009

8 November 2009

No! Don't focus on the wrong use of the paddles. Instead, focus on the serenity of the Bedok Reservoir in the background.

We were at the Aljunied Dragonboat House at Bedok Reservoir, gearing ourselves up for the annual Aljunied Dragonboat Challenge. Participating teams come from the various divisions of Aljunied GRC, namely Aljunied-Hougang, Bedok Reservoir-Punggol, Eunos, Paya Lebar-Kovan and Serangoon. Each division sent in teams to compete in the 6 categories - Residents' Committee (RC), Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC), Constituency Sports Club (CSC), Youth, Women, and the Aljunied Dragonboat Challenge.

Teams arrived as early as 7.30am on the bright Sunday morning. Luckily, there are quite a few morale-boosters: the Old Chang Kee truck, the Red Bull redemption counter and the occasional servings of Red Bull by attractive ladies and last but not least, the camaraderie among contesting teams.

The Guest-of-Honour was Mr George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Special guests included Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Singapore's first Woman Minister (Minister, PMO & 2nd Minister for Finance & Transport) as well as Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

The first race was the RC category, flagged off by Minister George Yeo. Lin Qiang did the drum well, despite this being his first attempt. I got a great taste of Bedok Reservoir water through this race. With our concentrated effort, we managed to achieve 2nd-runner up position. (Note: There are only 3 teams competing)

Team Eunos (Youth) had been practising dragonboating for 3 sessions since more than a month ago. Last year, we rowed in last (and we were wearing polo tees). This year, all of us were confident that history will not repeat itself!

The 21-strong Team Eunos (Youth) came in 4th position, out of 5 teams. That was a vast improvement for the team and team members were generally keen in meeting regularly as an interest group.

The Eunos spirit was displayed in our cheer. A simple "Huat" could also be made into an impressive team cheer. The "huats" were so consistent that the emcee said that Eunos must be a prosperous area.

Just check out this video on the cheering for Team Eunos (led by Mr Zainul) for the Aljunied Dragonboat Challenge. We came in 2nd runner-up position!

Dragonboat is really a very fun sport that unites people together. Team spirit is paramount to everything else in the sport. It just takes one to slacken down and the whole boat would slow. Therefore, 100% commitment (a Damai Secondary School's value) is required from every team member.

And I learnt that one should not drink 3 cans of Red Bull in one go...

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