INTERVIEW SERIES ANNOUNCEMENT: Dragon Boat World Athletes

In the coming weeks, we will be featuring an interview series called, “Dragon Boat World Athletes”. We will strive to reach out to World Level dragon boat paddlers and ask them the important questions about their passions, training routines, fitness and health tips and their dragon boating life in general.

To make it something light to read for our readers, we intend to pump them a medley of opinion-based, behavioural, funny, and perhaps some not-too-personal questions even (should they like to share). Let’s get to know what makes them tick and what or who inspires them. It will also be good to know some interesting facts about them and what they think of the status quo of the sport.

World Dragon Boat Athletes
World Dragon Boat Athletes

YOU GET TO ASK THE QUESTIONS

Yes, what’s good with this series is that the questions will come from you. Email us your questions at eugephemisms@gmail.com. If you want to ask them some dumb question like: “If you were an animal, what would you be?” (Please leave that to us. HAHA)

World Dragon Boat Athletes
Dragon Boat World Athletes

This series aims to inspire the younger generation of dragon boat paddlers to continue on the legacy, for they are the future of this sport; and if this, too, convinces them to pursue their dream of representing their country in the World Championships and become Dragon Boat World Athletes one day, then it truly validates the purpose of this platform.

For veteran paddlers of any club and those who are already in their prime, this is for you as well. May this sparkle up your health and fitness regimen and reignite your passion and dedication to dragon boat. After all, this sport does not only form bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood, it brings the world closer together.

World Dragon Boat Athletes
World Dragon Boat Athletes


Author’s Note: All images used with permission from Photographer Anthony Gallaccio.

Interview Series: Shona Chan Wai Kay, SEA Games 2015 Athlete

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This Q&A was with Shona Chan Wai Kay, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Singapore.

ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Shona Chan Wai Kay
BIRTHPLACE: Clementi, Singapore
AGE: 21yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Full-time
POSITION: National Athlete
PADDLING SIDE: Left
HEIGHT: 165cm
WEIGHT: 54kg
STATUS: Single

MEDAL RECORD: DBS Marina Regatta 2014 – Two-time Bronze Medallist; SEA Games 2013 – Bronze Medallist

National Athlete Shona, used to paddle competitive canoeing in 2010 when she was studying at St. Andrew Junior College. Aside from doing sports, she is also determined to focus on her studies. Currently she’s on her way of gaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Life Science at the National University of Singapore (NUS).


Q: How do you know if there is compatibility between an athlete and the coach?

A: You would know if the goals are aligned. The athlete and the coach may not have the same idea/s, so mainly if the goals are aligned then it will work. If for example, the coach wants to alter a training program or technique, the athlete on the other hand should want to try it for he/she knows that it’s for the best, it’s toward the achievement of a common goal.

Q: In your dragon boating career, did you encounter any major challenge e.g. injury, external restraint, et. al. How did you manage to move on amidst this challenge?

A: Yes I have. I injured my lower back in February of 2014, but it’s not a major injury but it sometimes trigger when I paddle long distances. To keep me moving on, when I joined the N-Team, I had this goal that I want a gold medal from the SEA Games 2015. So from the point that I joined, it was already set that I will stay all the way and we will get the medal.

Q: In your opinion, does it affect the National Athletes’ performance in terms of how they are being compensated?

A: I think it would affect them especially when they are going full-time. Travel expenses is one factor but it is not the most important factor; but, of course, some external help would keep the motivation when at times you feel like there’s nothing inside or losing the spirit and particularly now (interview time) that the trainings are really intense and we do have morning and evening sessions almost everyday.

FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

Photo Credit: Under Armour/Triple Pte. Ltd.

 
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The Dragon Boat Hours
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Interview Series: Coach Tan Wee Jin (Women’s National Team)

This Q&A was with Mr Tan Wee Jin, National Coach – Dragon Boat Team Singapore (Women’s Team)

Coach Wee Jin started both in dragon boating and kayaking at the age of 13. Prior to being a full-time coach, he was a part of the Anglo Chinese School (Independent), National Junior College, and National University of Singapore and has been actively competing until 2011.

This young, versatile coach has a Bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science, a former member of the Kayak Sprint Team Singapore, and a certified fitness instructor, first aider and CPR & AED.


Coach Tan Wee Jin

COACH PROFILE

NAME: Tan Wee Jin
BIRTHPLACE: Clementi, Singapore
AGE: 27yo
HEIGHT: 173cm
WEIGHT: 65kg

COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

Dragon Boat Team Singapore National Coach (Women’s) 2013-2015
National University of Singapore Kayak Sprint Team 2012-2015
Hwa Chong Instituition (College) Canoeing Team 2010-2015
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Canoeing Team 2013-2014

COACHING ACCOLADES

SEA Games 2013 – Bronze Medal
19th International Canoe Federation Canoe Marathon World Championship (Asian Category) 2011 – Gold Medal (K2 Men)
Dragon Boat Technical Coaching Certificate Levels 1 and 2
Sports Medicine Australia – Certified Sports Trainer Level 1
Olympic Council of Asia Canoe Sprint Coaching Technical Certificate Levels 1 & 2
National Coaching Accreditation Programme Levels 1 and 2


Q: How long have you been coaching the Women’s Team? How are the women athletes prepping for the SEA Games 2015?

A: This is my second year coaching the Dragon Boat Team Singapore – Women’s Team. We are gearing up well for the coming SEA Games and now there are more athletes who are going into full-time training, as opposed to a few months back, which is a good thing. We are now able to train having a full crew in the boat.

Q: How do you reach out to your Athletes?

A: First of all, interaction between the coach and the athletes is very important. Secondly, there should be sincerity in sharing to them my knowledge and my passion in the sport. These two combined, we will together soar to greater heights.

Q: In the context of interpersonal communication within the Women’s N-Team, is it a challenge for a male coach like yourself?

A: It always is. There’s a notion that goes, ‘Men are from Mars, Women from Venus’; so, as much as possible, I try to put myself in their shoes and think first of how they would feel before saying things. With regards to training matters, it is usually straight forward as those are facts. Gaining their trust and respect is something that helps to facilitate things.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

Photo Credit: dbteamsg.sg


 
You may also like
POEM: Into the Dragon’s Lair
The Future of Dragon Boat
9 Dragon Boat-iquettes Every Paddler Should Observe
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8 Types of Dragon Boats You See at Races
30 Thoughts Every Dragon Boater Has Before The Race
The Dragon Boat Hours
10 Most Popular Dragon Boat Hashtags
25 Things Only Dragon Boaters Understand

Interview Series: Coach Bryan Kieu (Men’s National Team)

This Q&A was with Coach Bryan Kieu, National Coach – Dragon Boat Team Singapore (Men’s Team)

Coach Bryan started paddling at an early age. He was only seventeen years old then when he first paddled the waters of Singapore. The year was 1997 when he first competed at an inter-school dragon boat race where he represented Hwa Chong Institution.

This very passionate Dragon Boat Coach loves to collect Transformers collectible figures and he loves joining Marathons, too.


Coach Bryan Kieu

COACH PROFILE

NAME:Bryan Kieu
BIRTHPLACE: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
AGE: 34yo
HEIGHT: 165cm
WEIGHT: 68kg

COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

Dragon Boat Team Singapore National Coach 2011 – Present

COACHING ACCOLADES

National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) Level 2
Asian Dragon Boat Championships (ADBC) 2012 – 3 Bronze Medals
Asian Dragon Boat Championships 2014 – Grand Finalist
SEA Games 2011 – Grand Finalist
SEA Games 2013 – Grand Finalist


Q: How long have you been the National Coach for the Men’s Dragon Boat Team Singapore? Do you like the life of a coach? For that matter, is it easy or tough for you?

A: I have been coaching the Men’s Team since 2011. I can say that I like the life of a coach but the main reason behind it is really because of the passion–the dream to raise the Singapore flag high in the podium finish. That is the main reason why I want to be a Coach. Back then, I could stay on to be an athlete but the community at that time needed a coach to look after the N-Team so I stepped up. In other words, I just filled the gap. I wouldn’t say that I was the best person back then but I felt that there’s a need to impart the lessons learned from the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010 and could be carried forward from there and not start from zero again. At that time, I thought that there is a great need for knowledge transfer to carry on the legacy. The life of a coach is tough; but I guess the reason why I like the life of a Coach is mainly because I find meaning in it.

Q: How important is the motivational climate to you in leading the National team?

A: I think a lot comes from within me–I want to do it–I should want to do it. Other factors which constitute a good motivational climate are your resources, whether from the association or from the sports council; and, of course, your paddlers. You have to have enough resources for the team; that includes having enough paddlers, to be able to achieve the high performance you’re aiming.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

Photo Credit: dbteamsg.sg

Interview Series: Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo

This Q&A was with Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo, National Coach – Dragon Boat Team Singapore (Men’s & Women’s Teams)

Born in 4th December 1976, Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo began his sporting career in 1992. Prior to dragon boat, he was part of the Myanmar National Rowing Team. In 1997, five years later, it was a dream come true for him when he became a part of the Myanmar Dragon Boat Team. He shared that it was considered to be the more elite sport in Myanmar during that time.

Apart from Dragon Boat, Coach 992 (as he is fondly called) is also into Swimming, Volleyball and Bodybuilding.


Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo

COACH PROFILE

Name: Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo
Birthplace: Pathein, Myanmar
Age: 38yo
Height: 177cm
Weight: 90kg

COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
Myanmar Dragon Boat National Team Coach 2010-2013
Dragon Boat Team Singapore National Coach 2014-2015

COACHING ACCOLADES
SEA Games 2011 – 9 Gold Medals
SEA Games 2013 – 14 Gold Medals


Q: How and at what age did you start dragon boating? How is the sport different now from what it was like then?

A: I was seventeen years old when I started in dragon boating. The training methods and techniques have become more different. Nowadays, there are more techniques used; and, quality wise, a lot has changed as well. These are all positive changes in terms of improvement of the techniques. I can say that quite a lot has changed since then; like for example, with my Myanmar athletes, the training hours have tripled as compared to before.

Q: How did you feel when you first learned the news that you are coaching the Dragon Boat Team Singapore?

A: Firstly, I felt very proud that I was invited to coach a team of another nation—a new National Team; and, this is exciting for me as I have been coaching the Myanmar team for quite a long time already. While it is a ‘new ground’ for me, I felt very confident as well. I just need to make sure that the team will do well; and, I will be there to help them achieve their goals.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

Photo Credit: SDBA Facebook Page