In a country where mainstream sports events such as basketball and volleyball dominate the media, some athletes take a chance on a road less traveled. First introduced in Ancient China, Dragon Boating celebrates culture, tradition, endurance, strength, skill, and harmony amongst others.
With its rising popularity in both the international and local scene, a newfound appreciation for this sport is also growing among the ranks of Lasallians. Co-captains Nikki Paculan and Julius Taccad share their insights on the growth of the team on and off from training sessions.
Growth and success
Taccad recalls that the team was formed back in 2005 by a group of friends who wanted to try the sport out. With the formation of the organization and numerous trophies, the DLSU Dragon Boat Team was able to put its name on the map.
“The Dragon Boat Team has become an organization wherein Lasallian students can be active while forming a sense of camaraderie and a feeling of ‘home’ with each other,” Taccad shares as he gives his take on his experiences.
The market for the team in the Lasallian community has also grown larger throughout the years. The co-captain noticed their team’s growth in numbers, starting out the year with 10 paddlers, and growing to 25 through recruiting and tryouts.
Support and appreciation
Deafening cheers and unwavering faith from supporters go a long way for any sport. Knowing that people are rooting for the team boosts morale and confidence. Paculan gives credit to the team’s previous members by citing their passion as an inspiration to keep the squad paddling and fighting for gold.
“Truly, it takes heart and passion to support and appreciate this kind of sport, and the people I am with right now share that same heart and passion with me,” Paculan shares, expressing appreciation for her teammates who share the same fire to keep the organization alive.
Lasallians are slowly learning to appreciate determination required by the sport, as the exhausting training the athletes go through, along with the sheer willpower and level of trust required from every single member, make up the rough process towards achieving a harmonious stroke. “On a personal level, being with people who share the same love for this sport, who have seen me at my best and my worst, I’ve connected deeply with these group of people. They accept me no matter what, they are the reason I have the strength to wake up in the morning and train.”
It is a sport for those who can withstand the harshness of the outside world, as immense stamina and polished technique are both necessary. The DLSU Dragon Boat Team continues to bring honor and pride to the Lasallian community, rowing their way towards the top of their game.
Watch out for them this April 20 to 22, 2017, in the 11th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival as they aim to paddle their way to gold.