Dragon boat club welcomes new members

Dragon boat club welcomes new members

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Island Paddlez Club (PIPC) held its open day on March 10 at the Tanjong Tokong Tua Pek Kong seafront, during which it hosted a membership drive and invited the public to try rowing a dragon boat.

Its president Aaron Lim said PIPC was aiming to attract more women paddlers, in conjunction with International Women’s Day.

“We have 60 active members aged between 18 and 64, of which 22 are women. At the open day, we managed to attract 56 new members to try out rowing and 19 were women.

“After the experience, we hope they discover the joy of the sport and decide to become part of our club.”

Lim said PIPC has three dragon boats – two new ones that are international competition graded and made from fibreglass and one that is older and made from a mix of fibreglass and wood.

“We have up to 20 paddlers on a team, including a steerer and a drummer who serves as the leader of the boat. The leader beats the drum to synchronise rowing and strategises the team’s strokes during the race.

“Team unity is also important both on and off the boat. We encourage members to engage in social activities together to cultivate a sense of harmony and cohesion,” he said.

On rowing strategies, Lim shared the team leader needs to consider the distance of the race, water conditions and their opponents before deciding on a plan.

“During the race, we may use various drum beats to signal different rowing techniques. This not only serves as a form of guidance but also acts as motivation for our rowers by pumping them up as they approach the finish line,” he said.

The team practises sea rowing every Sunday from 7.30am to 10.30am and every Thursday from 7.30pm to 9pm.

“Apart from these two days, we also work out at our sponsor’s gymnasium in Farlim. Additional sessions are carried out as race dates approach.

“We usually participate in two international races and four local races annually. The main race will always be the Penang International Dragon Boat Regatta,” he said.

The regatta will be in its 45th edition this year and will be held from Nov 23 to 24 at the Teluk Bahang Dam.

At the open day, the club’s former team manager Joseph Chow, who was with his 12-year-old son Ian, said: “Although he is still too young to join, I hope this rowing experience would inspire him to become a paddler in the near future.”

PIPC veteran member and previous captain of its women’s team Annie Lim, 64, was also at the open day to mentor and advise young women.

“I shared with them rowing techniques and health tips to keep their body strong,” she said.

Those interested to join PIPC are encouraged to try rowing several times before signing up. For details, please contact Lim at 012-486 8996 or Kath at 016-486 1123.


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