Guest Posting | Introducing Gushou, The Future of Dragon Boat Organization

Gushou is an online sport management platform designed for dragon boat. It is a hub, tool, and resource for all segments of the global dragon boat community. Gushou (pronounced “Gu-shoe”) means drummer in Chinese. The drummer is the pulse of any dragon boat team and we want to be the pulse of the dragon boat community.

Gushou the Dragon

We have been paddlers, team captains, coaches, and event organizers. With over 40 years of combined experience in dragon boat and other paddling sports between the two of us, we have both experienced and observed specific challenges that face athletes and organizers in the dragon boat community. We also run Sunnyside Paddling Club – with over 3000 paddlers, it is the largest in North America. Gushou was built to address the specific challenges of team captains, organizers, and paddlers – created by paddlers for paddlers. We’re looking to make an amazing sport more accessible to everyone.

The Founders

Blake Harra

Blake Harra

Chrissy Wessman

Chrissy Wessman

On Gushou, Team Captains can manage their roster, streamline communication in one place, and recruit new paddlers more efficiently. Paddlers can find teams who are recruiting in their area and stay up to date on the latest team communication, and practice and race schedules. Event/Club Organizers can promote themselves and will soon will be able to manage registration and scheduling, easily communicate with all stakeholders, track charitable giving, and increase revenue through wider community recognition. Another feature to be added is the vendor marketplace. Because dragon boat isn’t as widely known as some of the other mainstream sports, you can’t just go anywhere to get gear. Paddlers will be able to connect with vendors to make Gushou a true one-stop-shop for all things dragon boat.

We’re currently developing the next phase and we are always rolling out new and better features based on user feedback. We want to create the ultimate user experience that will be the future of dragon boat organization for the global community.

By Chrissy Wessman and Blake Hara

Website: www.gogushou.com

Indiegogo Campaign (running until August 7 11:59 PM): With over 100 events, 150 teams, and thousands of paddlers already registered on the platform, Gushou is currently stepping into the next phase of the launch strategy. They are running a crowdfunding campaign to help them get to the next development level. They are creating the ultimate user experience for all things dragon boat. Gushou will give the ability to track race results in real time and event history in addition to the continuously evolving team organization features.


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Dragon Boat World Athlete: From Canoeing to Dragon Boating

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete, Erik Åke Öberg, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Sweden (Sverige).

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Erik Åke Öberg
BIRTHPLACE: Vinninga, Lidköping Municipality, Sweden
AGE: 23yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Full-time
POSITION: Paddler
PADDLING SIDE: Both
HEIGHT: 185cm
WEIGHT: 87kg
STATUS: In a Relationship

MEDAL RECORD:
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2013, Gold – Open, U24, Small Boat, 200m; Silver – Mixed U24, Standard Boat, 1000m; Bronze – Mixed U24, Standard Boat 500m
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2015, Bronze – Mixed U24, Standard Boat, 2000m; Bronze – Mixed U24, Standard Boat, 200m

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg
Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg


Swedish World Dragon Boat Athlete, Erik Åke Öberg, has been racing in competitive Canoeing (Men’s Kayak Singles, K1) before he got into the sport of dragon boat. He’s a member of a flat water racing club Lidköpings Kanotförening and have been representing the club since he started paddling. Because of Erik’s vast experience in paddling and competing in flatwater racing, he was noticed by the dragon boat coach to have a big potential for the national team.

Erik was then asked by the National Coach if he wants to try out for the national team selection. “Yes, I really want this!”, he thought. He worked hard and went through the fitness, endurance and paddling selection process and eventually made it to the Swedish Dragon Boat Team. Amazingly, though, it’s also his first dragon boat team ever. “I have been paddling dragon boats since 2012 and loved it from the very first stroke.”, Erik said.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg
Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg

Though there aren’t many dragon boat paddlers or teams in Sweden, it doesn’t stop the members of the National Team to strive to be the best during the European and World Championships. The support system within the Swedish team plays an integral part on their success and team unity. They are a bunch of hardworking, dedicated, and fun-loving paddlers. They even have a resident Tenor on their team–their very own Luciano Pavarotti.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg
Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg


Q: Being in the National team is a tough responsibility. What keeps you going?

A: The fact that I can become better, I have always liked to challenge myself and what greater challenge than compete against the world’s greatest?

Q: How did your experience in Sprint Kayak or any other sports helped you in developing your Dragon Boat skills?

A: My experience in sprint kayak have helped me a lot, thanks to the kayaking skills I have developed. I was able to train with some of the world’s greatest sprint kayakers and learned a lot from them. I’m thankful for the opportunity that it made me more capable to perform well in dragon boat.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg
Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg

Q: What other exercises do you do if your team is not training for Dragon Boat?

A: I train a lot of sprint kayaking, cross-fit and powerlifting; a good balance of endurance and power is the key to being successful in your chosen sport.

Q: How do you manage your pre and post training nutrition? Any tips on keeping fit?

A: The key is to always plan ahead. If you know that you are going to have a long day at work or school, bring all the food you will need for the day. For example I always bring three or four bananas and supplements with me when I go to school so that I know I have something to eat between meals and before and after training.

Q: Is it your own research or is it imposed by your coach?

A: It is my own research and knowledge based on experience, when you have been competing and training for many years you learn what your body needs in order for you to achieve your best performance. But a good tip for beginners is to keep it simple, bananas get you a long way.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg
Dragon Boat World Athlete Erik Åke Öberg

Q: How do you envision the Team Sweden’s performance in the coming EDBF Champs?

A: I hope we do well! This year we are not going to compete in the U24 group which means that the competition is going to be harder, but we are up for the task!

Q: Outside the dragon boating world, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: I admire Anders Gustafsson, a former World Champion in K1 500m. From 2009 to 2012, Anders has bagged individual medals in Canoeing at the World Championships, European Championships and World Cup Competition. He is a not just a great athlete but also a great guy and friend of mine.


Photo Credits: Christoffer Carlsson, Cissi Velin, Ed Nguyen Photography, Jan Fransson, Joacim Petersson, Michaela Jonsson Lindblad, Karl Lind, TiszaDokk

 
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Dragon Boat World Athlete: Road to World Championships. What are the sacrifices?

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete Kiyoshi Morishita, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Canada.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Kiyoshi Morishita

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Kiyoshi Morishita
BIRTHPLACE: Guelph, Canada
AGE: 22yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Full-time
POSITION: Paddler, Captain of the Waterloo Vikings
PADDLING SIDE: Right or Left
HEIGHT: 183cm
WEIGHT: 95kg
STATUS: Single

MEDAL RECORD:
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, GoldU24 Mixed, 200m, 500m, 1000m, 2000m, 2015
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, GoldU24 Open, 200m, 500m, 1000m, 2000m, 2015
Pan Am Club Crew Championships, GoldPremier Open, 200m, 500m, 2000m, 2015
Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, BronzeUniversity Mixed, 2015
Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, GoldU24 Open, 2013
Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, SilverU24 Mixed, 2013
Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, SilverUniversity Mixed, 2013


Our first featured Dragon Boat World Athlete, Kiyoshi Morishita, was in his freshman year in the university when he was first introduced to dragon boat by a friend of his. He has been paddling for four years now and was part of the University of Waterloo Dragon Boat Team and then later on with the Waterloo Vikings, where he eventually became the club’s Captain.

“Over that time, we have transitioned from an Under 24 team to a Premier level team, making it to the “A Final” at the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival in 2015. A triumph that is first ever in club history.”, Kiyoshi shared.

Before Kiyoshi became a full-time dragon boat paddler, he played a lot of ice hockey. Aside from his athletic skills, on ice and in water, he’s also fascinated with the sciences. This coming September, he will soon start with his Graduate Studies in Functional Polymer Chemistry at the University of Tokyo.

Let us get to know more about Kiyoshi.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Kiyoshi Morishita


Q: Tell us a briefly about the selection process in the National Team? How long did it take you to qualify in the Canadian National Team?

A: The selection process began in the summer before Worlds. There were regional camps in September and February with fitness testing, erg testing, and paddling evaluation. There was a central final selection camp in May with fitness testing, erg testing, OC1 time trials and a lot of dragon boat paddling.

Q:Was there a time when you did not make it to the cut?

A: After the February camp, I was the 31st ranked male paddler. I worked hard to improve my fitness and trained a lot on the paddle ergs and in the paddle pool at Afterburn Fitness.

Q: What made you decide to be in the forefront and join the National Team?

A: I wanted to prove to myself that I had the determination and drive to make the team. Having supportive teammates going through the same tryout process helped a lot. I’m very glad I decided to try out, as representing my country on the world stage, with the best dragon boaters from across Canada is an experience I’ll forever cherish.

Q: As a seasoned paddler, you are aware that there is a profound motivational climate in this sport, how do you benefit from this as an athlete and as a person?

A: One thing that keeps me going when I’m tired during a race or in training is the knowledge that my teammates around me are hurting just as much and that my opponents are pushing themselves even harder. Through this sport I’ve grown much stronger as an athlete and developed leadership skills as an experienced paddler and captain of the Waterloo team.

Q: How long do you prepare in competing for the World Championships? Which major race are you preparing for next?

A: My preparation for trying out for the National team began a year before the competition. At the height of this preparation, I was training 10 times per week and following a strict diet. Immediately prior to the World Championships, the national team came together for 6 days of training and team bonding. I’m preparing most for the University Cup at the 2016 Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. The New College New Dragons have won the cup in 9 of the past 10 years and winning it in 2013 was one of my greatest dragon boat accomplishments.

Q: In three words, what does Dragon Boat mean to you?

A: Honour, focus, fun.

Q: Any personal ritual before you get in the boat? Do you pray before the games?

A: I always take a few minutes to myself to go over the race plan. I visualize the race and how I’ll feel at each stage. I try to foresee the pain I’ll be enduring and tell myself that I can push through it. I never pray before races, but we always have a pre-race talk led by the coaches or captains.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Kiyoshi Morishita

Q: Serious question: What do you find so satisfying about paddling water? (HAHA)

A: That sound of paddles punching through the spray in the recovery phase.

Q: On Diet: How do you manage your pre and post training nutrition? Is it your own research or is it the one imposed by your coach?

A: Balanced meals and lots of water. In preparation for fitness testing for the national team, I went on a caloric deficit to lose excess weight. I make sure to eat enough before competitions to ensure that I’m feeling at the top of my game. My diet has always been self-imposed, based on my own research.

Q: The Gift of Life Dragon Boat Team wants to know how do they transition from a recreational team to a competitive one. What piece of advice would you give them to improve and climb up the divisions and win medals?

A: The main difference between a recreational team and a competitive team is how they approach training in the off season. The more time you spend on dragon boat specific training in the off season, the easier it will be to rise in the medal ranks. Teams should also focus on developing leaders who can teach and inspire less experienced teammates. Develop an environment where everyone encourages and supports each other and finally, keep things fun!

Q: Being in the elite level of this competitive sport, in your opinion, what does it require from the athletes? What should they invest in terms of the physical, social, and mental aspects? What are the sacrifices?

A: It requires a commitment to individual and especially team training. Missing paddlers during on-water practices hurts the entire team. This includes paddlers who are injured or who are not mentally ready to commit to the training. Elite paddlers will be forced to sacrifice time spent with their outside social circle, although dragon boat creates an entirely new social atmosphere. You might not have much free time. However, training at an elite level can be combined with a full school or work load with good time management.

Q: Outside the dragon boating world, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings. He’s not an all-star player, but he’s a fast skater and consistently works hard, making him valuable to his team on defense and on the penalty kill. He has scored big goals in the playoffs for the Red Wings. He even scored 6 playoff goals before his first regular season goal!

Dragon Boat World Athlete Kiyoshi Morishita
 
Photos by Ricky Tjandra. Ricky is also a Dragon Boat World Athlete and is one of the pioneers in bringing the sport in the Waterloo region of Canada. He is a former President of the University of Waterloo Dragon Boat Team (UWDBC) and has been coaching the team since.


 
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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

View this post on Instagram

Lego dragon boat paddle today! #cyldb

A post shared by CYL Dragonboat Australia (@cyl.dragonboat) on

4. Empire Dragon Boat Team

5. Dubai Diggers

6. PLK Paddlers

7. Paddlers Anonymous

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

14. Lian Dragon Boat Club

15. Water Vipers

16. Dragon Hearts Thunderbreaker

17. Sky Dragon Team

18. Emerald City Dragon Boat Club

19. Persian Gulf Dragon Boat

20. Doha Dragons – Qatar Dragon Boat Team

21. Intertek Dragon Team

22. UCI Elements

23. North Eastern Dragon Boaters Association

24. Lorestan Dragonboat

View this post on Instagram

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

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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