Dragon Boat

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I have taken up a new sport: Dragon Boat.

Last year, while I worked every Sunday, P joined a dragon boat team that practiced Sunday afternoons in Stanley. I was not-so-secretly jealous. I like paddle sports, and I like fitness, and I love being on a team (ex-college athlete). So this year, without the Sunday workday, I packed up to an open practice in March.

While it may be one of the less efficient forms of locomotion, it is incredibly fun. You have usually 20 people in a boat, paddling in time, in a slightly awkward looking way, leaning over the edge and twisting. It is not a sport known for its grace.

First practice I learned technique and also had a fantastic strength workout as a result. When we were all at the pub after, I felt like I had just done an intense power lift routine; my aggression was off the charts (I calmed it down). Subsequent practices have been tough, working on endurance, form, power, but each also is easier than the last as I get more used to it (thankfully).

I am currently in the enthusiastic phase of sporting: super excited to learn new skills, happy about the soreness the following day, still buying equipment.

I have also been able to combine the satisfaction of doing new sports with the accomplishment of achieving a Hong Kong Goal. Among the things I subconsciously wanted to do upon moving here, were things like Junk Boats, Beach Camping, Rooftop parties, Boat Restaurants, Chinese Opera, and Dragon Boat. There are many other things on the list, but since dragon boat originated in this province of China AND is a sport, it feels like it is slightly more important. Consequently, I get to do a *cultural* activity and play a sport! Wins all around.

Soon, however, they start Wednesday 6AM water sessions, and we will see how much fun I’m having then. But I do love a good challenge.

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2 thoughts on “Dragon Boat

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  1. Hi there! I am in Hong Kong for a summer internship, and I want to get involved in some sort of team sport while I’m here. This sounds like a lot of fun! How can I get more information/sign up?

    1. Hi! The teams function independently and there are a few more races in the season, ending in the middle of June. The team I’m on isn’t accepting new members, but you can have a look around at some other clubs and contact them through email. A bunch of teams have websites, and for the dragon boat festival on June 2 a lot of other clubs put together teams and enter. There are a bunch of alumni association and corporate teams as well, so you could look into the organizations you’re already a part of.

      I know a few people who do other types of sports as well (volleyball, dodgeball, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, netball.. there are all sorts). Reach out to teams you’re interested in, and see how you can join. You could also join a meet-up if you want to do it more casually, which would make sense because you’re just here short term. There are dozens of running clubs that I know, and a plethora of other options for activities. Have a browse at http://www.meetup.com/

      Good luck!

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