Dragon Boat World Athlete: Are you too young to start Paddling?

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete, Paul Alex Kandler, National Athlete – Team Germany.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Paul Alex Kandler
BIRTHPLACE: Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
AGE: 20yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Part-time
POSITION: Paddler (Occasional Pacer/Schlagmann)
PADDLING SIDE: Right
HEIGHT: 186cm
WEIGHT: 85kg
STATUS: Single

MEDAL RECORD:
German Championships 2014, Schwerin, Bronze – Mixed, Standard Boat, 500m
9th IDBF Dragon Boat Club Crew World Championships, Ravenna, Bronze – Mixed, Small Boat, 500m (Uckermark U18)
Vize European Master 2014, Silver – Mixed, Standard Boat, 2000m
Vize European Master 2014, 2 Bronzes – Mixed, Standard Boat, 2000m, 500m
Vize European Master 2014, Bronze – Open, Small Boat, 200m
11th EDBF European Dragon Boat Nations Championships, Racice, Bronze – U18, Small Boat, 200m
Vize Weltmeister 2015, 2 Silvers – Open, Small Boat, 2000m, 500m
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2015, Welland, 2 Silvers; 1 BronzeOpen, Small Boat; U24 Small Boat, 200m

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler


It’s beneficial to become athletic at a young age. Though it’s not set in stone as to what age is ‘too young’ for one to start, it certainly helps to be exposed to sports early–it keeps the body active and it also helps improve self-esteem and physical health. Experts say that athletes tend to develop their mental abilities better than non-athletes.

According to results of a study by Jocelyn Faubert, “It is clear that a remarkable mental processing and learning abilities should be acknowledged as critical elements for world-class performance in sport and potentially elite performance abilities in other dynamic contexts¹.”

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler

While it doesn’t matter what kind of sport you’re leaning to focus on, starting young gives you more room for discovery and finding your true passion. Just like our next featured Dragon Boat World Athlete, 20 year old, Paul Alex Kandler from Germany.

As a kid, Paul grew up to be fond of any kinds of sports. He played football for several years until the time came when he found his passion in water sports–Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Outrigger Canoeing (OC) and Dragon Boat. He was introduced to the Dragon Boat world through his school team, Carolinum Dragons, and from there he had fallen deep under the ‘spell of the dragon’.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler

From his school team in 2013, he joined a local competitive club called: Strelitz Dragons. That’s where he became more and more serious with the sport. He began to join large-scale dragon boat competitions and have clinched several medals with his home team. From then on he was determined to enhance his paddling skills and join major races like the Nationals, Continental and Worlds. He’s been competing for four years now and at his young age, he’s had shown exceptional potential to arise in Premiere level in the near future.

So for those of you who started paddling in your teens like Paul, keep doing what you’re doing and if you aspire to one day represent your country in the World Championships, the right time to start working for it is now. Let’s read on Paul’s experience being with the National Team and what’s the best lesson he has learned from it.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler
Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler


Q: Who was your first coach in dragon boat? Who was your first coach in Outrigger Canoe (OC)?

A:My first dragon boat coach was my PE teacher Mr Pfitzner. Now my coaches are from the National Team. In OC, I’m my own coach.

Q: How long have you been with Team Germany? How is the experience so far?

A: I have paddled with the National Team for three years now and can only say that we (athletes) have no fear. Having said this, one just needs to believe in himself that he can do it. The National Team is very sociable and accepting of everyone who has the passion. In the training camp, the athletes give their best to master the training programme. It’s like everyone is racing against themselves. Although the training programme gets intense by the day, no matter what level or age group you are in, with the right workout there is no problem.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler
Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler

Q: Will you be representing Team Germany in the upcoming EDBF Championships in June?

A: Yes. I trained hard to be selected and only recently I got the news from our trainer that I got in and I must be there to help the crew.

Q: How are the preparations for the European Championships in June in Rome, Italy?

A: The preparations run according to the training plan that the coach have designed. We have to fulfill it as planned and we have to attend the regular training camps in order for us to have achieve a common goal of having a strong, solid boat.

Q: We understand that aside from Dragon Boat, you also do Outrigger Canoe (OC), how does it benefit your paddling in Dragon Boat?

A: OC is a good alternative when I’m not training with my drachenboot (dragon boat) team. It’s also a great balancing workout so that you can paddle both sides and this is very good for the body.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Paul Alex Kandler

Q: How do you manage your time between dragon boat and OC? Can you share with us the similarities and differences of these two water sports in terms of paddling stroke? Does the stroke sometimes become confusing?

A: I manage it very well. Since dragon boat is a team sport, everyone needs to be there for training unlike in OC, when my team is not available to practice together, I do OC on my own. As for the force required, OC is more difficult because the OC paddle has a larger blade but paddling technique wise, for me it’s very similar. The confusion in the stroke is minimal. You just have to focus on which boat you are paddling in.

Q: As a National Athlete, what is the best lesson you’ve learned so far from the sport of dragon boat?

A: The best lesson I have learned is to not have fear of learning new techniques and strategies for the good of the team. Dragon boat is not just for one person, if everyone is training hard, it’s the team that gets better.


Reference

1. Jocelyn Faubert, “Professional athletes have extraordinary skills for rapidly learning complex and neutral dynamic visual scenes”, Nature.com, 31st January 2013, Nature Publishing Group, 24th May 2016

 
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30 Must-follow Dragon Boat Twitter Accounts 2016

Late last year, we have compiled and featured the Top 30 Dragon Boat Influencers on Twitter. It’s about time to get to know the next batch of boosters and agents who promote the sport through this online social networking microblogging platform. Let’s celebrate them for actively promoting and pushing to popularise the sport and make more people not just become aware but encourage them to try out our beloved sport.

But, why 30? What is its significance to Dragon Boat?

According to International Dragon Boat Federation or IDBF, the international governing body for the team water sport of dragon boat racing: “It was 30 years after the first Hong Kong International Races or HKIR, the numbers show the impressive development of Dragon Boat Sport. 50 million Dragon boaters in China and the sport, through the IDBF, has now spread to all continents’ [sic].”

World Dragon Boat Athletes

“Since the formation of the IDBF, the sport has spread rapidly throughout the world. […] 300,000 in the UK and Europe, including Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia; 90,000 in Canada and the USA and many thousands in Australia and New Zealand and with the sport now spreading through the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific Basin; Dragon Boat Sport, under its governing bodies is a vibrant, effective and independent paddle sport.”

The HKIR in the 70’s is believed to be the start of the ‘Modern Era’ of Dragon Boat Racing. In the present day, the IDBF, EDBF (European), and the ADBF (Asian) Federations are the three Federations who now govern Dragon Boating as practised in over 60 countries.[Source]

Dragon Boat

To come up with the top 30 list, we mainly used search engine & twitter search. The latter is as simple as typing dragon boat keywords on Twitter’s search field and exploring its advance search functionality. For search engine, to put it simply, the keywords will be ‘searched’ based on data which are already indexed in their system, thus the results. Each particular search engine will have varying results because each have their own ranking system and its own unique data gathering and coordinates used.

As to how its metrics and processes work, that’s another technical literature altogether. Let’s not go there for now. For this particular purpose, we used the largest dragon of them all–Google. Here they are in random order.

1. Irish Dragon Boat Team

2. Brisbane River Dragons

3. Stroke it! Dragon Boat Club

4. Stormy Dragons

5. Gushou

6. Southern California Dragon Boat Club

7. Drachenboot-Events

8. UP Dragon Boat Team

9. U.A.E. Dragon Boat Association

10. Raging Dragons

11. Los Angeles Racing Dragons

12. Hope Floats NYC

13. Living Root Dragon Boat

14. Lions Dragon Boating

15. KL Barbarians

16. George Brown Dragon Boat Club – Huskies

17. Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association

18. Dragon Boat Barrie

19. Iron Dragons

20. Dallas United Crew Delite

21. Champion Dragon Boats

22. Team Fusion Dragon Boat

23. Sunnyside Paddling Club

24. Carlow Dragon Boat Club

25. Ryerson Dragon Boat

26. Welsh Dragon Boats

27. DC Dragons

28. Austin Coolers Dragon Boat

29. Admar Dragon Boat

30. Venice Canoe & Dragon Boat


*The nomination is still open for the “Most Inspirational Dragon Boat Paddlers on Instagram.” Let us know if you want to anonymously nominate a friend, coach, team manager or a teammate. Just simply send a link of their account to our inbox: eugephemisms [at] gmail [dot] com

 
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TEAMWORK: What does it really mean to Dragon Boaters?

According to Oxford Dictionaries, teamwork is defined as “the activity of working well together as a team.” The definition may sound as simple as it may seem, but what does it ‘really’ mean in the context of dragon boating?

We’ve asked a good mix of world and regional level paddlers and coaches of different age and racing classes, ranging from Premier (open age group), Senior A (40+), and U24 (Under 24’s) to define Teamwork in their own words.

Albeit unintentionally, we have given them a hard task of providing us with just one word or up to one sentence response only; and based on their actual experiences and involvement in the team sport of dragon boat, they shared their personal and honest-to-goodness definition.

Quite astonishingly, we have (re)discovered such beautiful and inspiring meanings to it. Let’s take inspiration from these athletes and coaches, on how they perceive, employ, utilise and value the importance of this rather not-so-simple compound word.

Alexandre Cheng

“Teamwork is collaboration between individuals whose result is greater than what the individuals can accomplish individually. Teamwork is beautiful.” – Alexandre Cheng, Canadian National Dragon Boat Team

Nutcharat Ying

“In my experience, the meaning of team work means we trust in ourselves, we trust in our team and we believe we can do it.” – Nutcharat Ying, Thailand Dragon Boat Team

Allan Nguyen

“Teamwork is sacrificing and compromising for others to achieve a common goal.” – Allan Nguyen, USA National Team

Manuel Maya

“It’s hard for me to define it in just one word. Teamwork is unity, harmony, trust in your own ability and the individual abilities of each team member. Hindi mananalo ang team kung wala tiwala sa sarili at sa teammates. Kahit ang pinakamahinang member ng team napakahalaga nila.” (The team can never win if members don’t have trust on themselves and their teammates. Even the weakest member of the team is very important.) – Manuel Maya, Philippine Dragon Boat Team/Coach

Shanice Ng

“One word: Camaraderie.” – Shanice Ng, Singapore Dragon Boat Team

Francis Lucas Dragon Boat

“Teamwork to me is putting yourself second and putting your teammates first. To trust them to achieve a common goal.” – Francis Lucas, Canadian National Team

Dennis Wright

Teamwork in the dragon boat sense is: The cooperation of all boating members to dissolve individual egos in order to become a single body that is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Dennis Wright, Auroras – Australian Dragon Boat Team

Curtis Guinn

“To me, teamwork is the whole group coming together for the same goal. But it’s not just the people you see out front; it’s all of the people playing different parts behind the scenes that aren’t noticed right away. It’s in knowing that in your heart that you may not be where the team needs you to be and be willing to step back for someone else but still being ready to go when the group needs you. It’s everyone back home pushing this core group to be better everyday even if they aren’t a part of it themselves.” – Curtis Guinn, USA National Team

Rhowie Enriquez

“Teamwork is working together in any activity for the benefit and progress of the team.” – Rhowie Enriquez, Philippine Dragon Boat Team

 Jonathan Navarro

“I define teamwork as the complete and total summation of actions and decisions made by the members of a team–collectively and individually that contribute towards achieving a specific goal.” – Jonathan Navarro, Canadian National Dragon Boat Team

Moonkasem Pranchalee Dragon Boat

“My own personal definition of teamwork means that the team which comes from love and harmony, while helping each other and do the things that you get assigned.” Moonkasem Pranchalee, Thailand Dragon Boat Team

Loh Zhiying

“Teamwork = commitment + intensive training + a common goal (shared among the team).” Loh Zhiying, Singapore Dragon Boat Team

Melanie Marquez Dragon Boat

“Teamwork is when everyone works together, but it starts when everyone makes a personal commitment towards the team’s goal.” – Melanie Marquez, Canadian National Dragon Boat Team

Ben Dal Broi

“My experience of teamwork in Dragon Boats? Simple… Just shut up and do what the sweep tells you.” Ben Dal Broi – Australian Dragon Boat Team

Amihan Zapanta Arroyo Dragon Boat

“Teamwork for me, especially as a dragon boater, would have to be about the unification of a people for a common goal. And you don’t see that illustrated more purely than in dragon boat, because in order to cross the finish line you truly need each and every person.” – Amihan Zapanta Arroyo, USA National Team

Harland Baraquero

“Teamwork is the navigator and it’s the beauty of dragon boat.” Harland Baraquero, Former Philippine Dragon Boat Team/Coach

Raymond Kiang

“Being in a team sport, the most essential factor is to have everyone steered towards the same goal–goals which include a spectrum of macro to micro goals. Definitely there will be differences in opinion and it is important to have everyone on the same page. Teamwork is also self accountability to the team where you try your best to contribute to the bigger picture. In an individual sport, you can afford to plan your own schedule or make up for training yourself but this is not possible in a team sport.” – Raymond Kiang, Singapore Dragon Boat Team

Damaris Claudio Dragon Boat

“Teamwork is when all team members collaborate giving the best of their performance to achieve the goal and together celebrate the work done.” – Damaris Claudio, Puerto Rico Dragon Boat Team

Riza Canonoy

“Unity and teamwork is important especially in a team because without it you will not achieve your goal. For example, when our team is focused on a certain programme today, it requires everyone to be united in following and doing it; when others did not perform well, we need to do it again and again until we have perfected it.” – Riza Canonoy, National Athlete – Philippine National Dragon Boat Team

Tek Li

“Teamwork is being vulnerable together, trusting one another. Trusting one another to enhance your strengths and to support your weaknesses. Teamwork is being humble if you think you know it already. Teamwork is being courageous to ask questions if you don’t know it.” – Tek Li, USA National Team


In any dragon boat team, there are several factors that need to be considered and developed to ensure the team’s success, some of the key ones are: the attitude of members when it comes to cooperation; the amount (and sincerity) of commitment; learning levels and learning skills of members, the interpersonal relationship within the team, and, of course, leadership.

While you consider these facets and take tips and lessons from our featured athletes, even though each of us may have our own brilliant definition of what teamwork means, the right formula for a successful teamwork can only be defined and be understood by your team and your team alone.

Photo Credits: Respondents’ own, Ed Nguyen Photography, Michael Daniel Photography, JhanPhilipCo Photography, T & M Photography, Under Armour


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25 More Dragon Boat Accounts to Love on Instagram

The global usage of Instagram is ever increasing and is now estimated at 400 million active users monthly. While thousands and thousands of dragon boat-themed accounts are now active on this photo/video-sharing mobile app; whether it’s for social or marketing use, it’s all good publicity for the sport.

The utilisation of this social networking service varies in a lot of ways: to promote the team, to inspire team members and followers, to feature paddlers, coaches or sponsors, to advertise dragon boat products and services, to broadcast upcoming races, and so on and so forth.

No matter. To us paddlers or dragon boaters, these dragon boat accounts that we follow make us feel good; and while a multitude of accounts emerge on a daily basis (perhaps hourly, or by the minute even), this just means that our sport is growing exponentially, which is a good thing. If your team is not on Instagram yet, consider creating one. It’s going to be worthwhile.

From visually inspirational images and videos, to helpful health tips, to motivational quotes; these accounts may have, in one way or another, mirrored the dragon boating/paddling life that we aspire.

Here are 25 more dragon boat accounts that will not only ‘re-fresh’ our Instagram feed; but will also make us smile, laugh or give our creativity the much needed boost.

1. UBC Thunder

2. Shell & Turcas Dragon Team

3. Chinese Youth League Dragon Boat

Lego dragon boat paddle today! #cyldb

A photo posted by CYLDB (@cyl.dragonboat) on

4. Empire Dragon Boat Team

Beautiful day of racing in Burlington! Thank you @ridethedragonvt for amazing hospitality and fun times! #bestfestival

A photo posted by Empire Dragon Boat (@empiredragonboatteam) on

5. Dubai Diggers

6. PLK Paddlers

7. Paddlers Anonymous

#paddlersanon Christmas party last night 🎅🏻🎄 #family

A photo posted by Paddlers Anonymous (@paddlersanon) on

8. Dragon Boat Steelcraft

9. Dragon Boat Banyoles

10. National University of Singapore (NUS) Dragon Boat Team

11. Western U Dragon Boat Club

12. Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival

13. Montgomery Dragon Boat Race and Festival

Your 2014 Grand Champions! The Bravest from the Montgomery Fire Department. #mgmdragonboat

A photo posted by Montgomery Dragon Boat Fest (@mgmdragonboat) on

14. Lian Dragon Boat Club

❤️ Lian club ❤️ #lian_club #team #teammates #Bushehr #Iran #team #dragonboat #dragon #boat

A photo posted by Lian club (@lian_dragonboat_club) on

15. Water Vipers

16. Dragon Hearts Thunderbreaker

17. Sky Dragon Team

Ceremonia Despertando al Dragón! #wakeup #dragonboat

A photo posted by Sky Dragon (@skydragonteam) on

18. Emerald City Dragon Boat Club

Glorious Fall paddle right before the wind kicked up. #dragonboat #dragonboating #realoregon #dexterlake

A photo posted by Emerald City Dragon Boat Club (@ecdbc) on

19. Persian Gulf Dragon Boat

20. Doha Dragons – Qatar Dragon Boat Team

21. Intertek Dragon Team

Dragon Festivali tarihinde verilmis en iyi poz 🙂 Kupa kazanmayi bilene yakisir :)) 🏆😎💪

A photo posted by Intertek Dragon Team (@intertekdragonteam) on

22. UCI Elements

23. North Eastern Dragon Boaters Association

Nedba #p21

A photo posted by NE Dragon Boaters (@nedragonboaters) on

24. Lorestan Dragonboat

مربی ارزشمند لرستانی "مهدی فاضلی" در سال 84 با شروع فعالیت قایقرانی در استان فعالیت خود را در دراگون بت به عنوان ورزشکار شروع کرد و در هشت دوره مسابقات کشوری این رشته شرکت کرد." مهدی فاضلی"در کارنامه خود 5 دوره مربی تیم دراگون بت لرستان بوده که نتایج قابل دفاعی برای جامعه ورزشی لرستان کسب کرده.مقام چهارمی سومی و دومی کشور در رشته دراگون بت تنها بخشی از رزومه اوست که در این چند سال دو بار هم تیم لرستان به عنوان پدیده و شگفتی ساز مسابقات شناخته شد.فاضلی مدارج مربیگری درجه دو و سه و بین المللی را کسب کرده و همچنین تعداد زیادی از شاگردان وی در تیم ملی و مسابقات جهانی و آسیایی عضو ثابت تیم ملی بوده اند.مربی تیم لرستان سه بار به اردوی تیم ملی دعوت شده که یک بار آن به عنوان مربی اصلی تیم ملی اعزامی به مسابقات قهرمانی آسیا در چین نماینده ورزش لرستان بوده که در آن مسابقات تیم ایران مقام چهارم را بدست آورد. #iran#lorestan #khoramabad #khorramabad #goproapp #gopro_4life #goproir #goodfriends #goprophotography #goproiran #goproiranfanpage #goproeverything #gopro #goprophotography_ #nature #natgeo #everydayiran #خرم_آباد #لرستان #لرها #lorestan_e_kohan #lorestaniha #lorestaniam #lorestantravel#iranemoon #yaftenews#lorestan_e_kohan #everydayiran #akkaskhoone#دریاچه #کیو#بام

A photo posted by @lorestan_dragonboat on

25. University College Dragon Boat Club


*Different search engines, Iconosquare, and Instagram Web were used to help populate this list.

In the coming 2016, we shall feature a list of the Most Inspirational Paddlers on Instagram. Let us know if you want to anonymously nominate a friend, coach, team manager or a teammate. Share with us a brief intro or just simply send us a link of their account in our email: eugephemisms [at] gmail [dot] com

25 Dragon Boat Accounts to Follow on Instagram

Whether these accounts have posted five or five hundred media, regardless if they have twenty or two thousand followers; these accounts do not only share tastefully edited or unedited images and videos but they also contribute a great deal in promulgating the sport of dragon boat.

If you or your team is on Instagram, whether the post is your own or a repost, more than creating the best collages or finding the right filter; it’s always a delight to see dragon boat images, videos or memes which inspires and energises. Also, it’ll be great if you could provide your followers (and future ones) with the appropriate captions and hashtags.

Generally speaking, in sharing our photos or videos, we can be as creative as we can be and at the same time be really funny or inspirational, too. We can be as informative and yet not too braggy and self-important. We can post anything that we fancy, just so long as it’s original and ‘Instagram-worthy.’

Since Instagram is best used real-time, you may also want to mention the dragon boat race that’s ongoing or where your team practice or team excursion is happening by using the location setting or simply state the city or country in the caption field.

Wherever you are paddling, be it in Poland, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Canada, United Arab Emirates, United States, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia or Isle of Man, it will be good to know that an exciting dragon boat event is happening in your area.

#dragonboat #dragonboatrace #dragonboatfestival

With the help of Iconosquare, Instagram Web, and search engines, we have digitally populated these trendsetters for this year (2015) and may you be enthused by these fun and inspiring dragon boat accounts—follow them and take note of how they effectively make use of the hashtags.

1. Ryerson Dragonboat Club

2. Dreadnought Dragon Boat Team

3. Dragon Boat Pinatar

4. Dragon Boat MVP

5. Dragon Boat Innovate

6. Dragonboat Club Master Russia

View this post on Instagram

#Kazan #not_our

A post shared by Dragonboat Club Master Russia (@dragonboatmaster) on

7. Hammerheads Dragon Boat Club

8. A-Team Dubai Dragon Boat Club

9. Waterloo Dragon Boat Club

10. Aquaholics Dragon Boat Club

11. Orlando Dragon Boat Club

12. Catch22 NYC Dragon Boat

13. Pennsylvania Dragon Boat Club

14. George Brown Dragon Boat Club

15. Smokipoludnia Poland

16. Oar Struck Dragon Boat Club

17. Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival

18. SIM Dragons Singapore

19. San Juan Dragonborn Club

20. HKU Dragon Boat Team 香港大學龍舟隊

21. XGenerals Dragonboat Team

22. ACCA Dragon Boat Racing Team

https://instagram.com/p/8fnbLOQCYA/?taken-by=accadbr

23. GWN Dragon Boat

24. One West Dragon Boat

25. DLSU Dragon Boat Team

So the next time we’re rendering our desired saturation, shadows, tilt shift and contrast or we’re choosing between Juno, Ludwig or Willow to filter our post, let’s not forget to use the dragon boat hashtags to promote the sport. We need dragon boat to be out there and be at par amongst the more popular ones.


*We shall feature the next 25 Accounts to Follow on IG before the year ends. We’ll also keep a lookout for the 2016 Dragon Boat influencers on Social Media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook). Meanwhile, keep on spreading the word and the love for the sport!