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Ready, ready: my dragon boat experience

Posted: Jun 27, 2013

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Ready, ready: my dragon boat experience

By Samantha Sparling

Last year, when Kelly asked me to be a sub for the BMI dragon boat team, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I had the chance to attend one practice and although it was absolutely terrifying; I loved it.  I knew I had to participate again this year. 

I’ve always really enjoyed sports, team sports at that, like soccer, ringette and hockey, but a water team sport is filled with different challenges.  For dragon boating, each paddler must be in sync - sounds easy right? No, not at all! The boat must also be balanced and the slightest movement made me feel like we were about to tip and head into the water! (Thankfully this did not happen). 

After a few great practices with amazing and patient coaches from the Rideau Canoe Club, it was time for the big race day! I woke up early, got my gear ready and headed down to Mooney’s Bay. The butterflies started to kick in when we were leaving the staging area and heading to the dock. We got into our boat and headed down to the start line, guided by our great steer person, and of course, our giggly drummer Kristy. After what felt like the longest 2:45 ever, the first race was over.  My arms felt like jell-o and I really needed some water.  I was so excited and it felt like we did really well. I couldn’t wait for our afternoon race.  

The most exciting part about our afternoon race was that we were going to be racing against the other BMI team… How cool is that? So off we go to the staging area, into our boats and back to the start line.  We were all focused and before we knew it, were given the queue for the race to start.  We managed to improve our time to 2:37! What an accomplishment.  It is safe to say that I think everyone in the boat gave it their all.  It was also really cool to finish at the same time as our other BMI team and the encouragement and the high-fives coming from both teams were awesome.

I absolutely loved being part of the BMI dragon boat team and if given the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t have to think twice.  My answer would be yes!