“I’m young to row the boat but I’ve all strength in me to win the race and not many of my friends know this game to appreciate me and they all need awareness too” says 10-year-old who is a part of Karnataka team.
All India Invitation Dragon Boat Championship which took place for three days from 4th Nov to 6th Nov was organised by the Kayaking and Canoeing Association of Karnataka, under the patronage of the MEG & Centre, in partnership with the event organisers, Catapult Connect.
The event was hosted for the first time in Bangalore as part of creating awareness about the importance of water-sports. Bengalureans got to witness the spirit of this sport at Ulsoor Lake.
“We have organised the event to bring awareness among the young generation about water sports and want to draw youngsters into the field. Talent is in abundance in Karnataka, it has to be spotted and needs to be nurtured” says Colonel Ayyappa, president of Kayaking and Canoeing Association of Karnataka.
The human powered watercraft race had 25 teams including several from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, NCC and from various clubs, which had three events — 1,000 metres, 500 metres and 200 metres, in three categories for men, women and mixed. “225 men and 68 women was the total strength of the participants at the event. The participants’ ages group ranged between 10 to 47 years” says Secretary of Kayaking and Canoeing Association of Karnataka and Retd Captain Deelip Kumar who himself was an Asian Gold Medalist.
“Timing, strength and endurance are three key elements of a successful team, the fourth and most critical is teamwork. I think it is for this reason that the sport has achieved such a high profile around the world” says Sugandhanji, a jawan and a participant.
A dragon boat team consisted of 10 paddlers, each pair sitting side by side rowing in unison to propel the boat forward, plus a Cox who steers the dragon boat from the rear and a drummer who sits in the front to motivate the team members with his/her beat.
The event has given an opportunity to Bengalureans to introduce their children to this water-sport. Debraj Barman, a water sports enthusiast who planned to take advantage of the event in the city and attended the event with his family says “many more events of rare sports like this should take place so that parents like us could make our children aware of sports which are not widely played all over India.”