Dragon Boat Team Singapore goes high gear with Under Armour for 28th SEA Games

As a befitting choice for champions, the Dragon Boat Team Singapore gets garbed in revolutionary US high-performance sports label Under Armour for the 28th SEA Games this year. Through this official sponsorship by Triple Pte Ltd, the exclusive distributor of Under Armour in Southeast Asia, the national paddlers from Dragon Boat Team Singapore will have the honour of donning Under Armour compression and training gear, as it sets its eyes on victory at the upcoming SEA Games in Singapore.

THE HEROES

Dragon Boat Team Singapore

The sponsorship comes in timely, as the country will once again play host to SEA Games after 22 years. This year, Singapore is also celebrating her golden jubilee, which marks a significant milestone for the nation, making this event even more memorable. The sponsorship will see Triple Pte Ltd providing Under Armour gear to Dragon Boat Team Singapore for the year.

“We want to continue supporting and spurring exemplary sportsmen and sportswomen who define the notion of true athleticism within our local sporting scene. We see huge potential in Dragon Boat Team Singapore. True to Under Armour’s iconic I WILLTM mantra, the team demonstrates such hunger, fervour and determination; giving their best into a sport they feel so passionate about,” said Mr Adrian Chai, Chief Marketing Officer, Triple Pte Ltd.

“The sponsorship is also an ideal platform for us to reach out to the sports community and to showcase Under Armour’s performance apparels in a strong regional and international athletic stage”, Mr Chai explained further.

“Dragon boating has a deep-rooted history and tradition here for over two decades. We believe that history can be made, and that glory is within reach. We are honoured to have garnered strong support from the dragon boat fraternity, and from partners such as Under Armour, as well as everyone who champions the sport,” said Dr Chia Shi-Lu, President, Singapore Dragon Boat Association.

The prestigious Dragon Boat Team Singapore was formed in 1989, comprised of only men while the women’s team was formed in 1995. Both teams have made significant strides in the history of this sport for Singapore.

Shanice Ng

Shanice Ng, Women’s Team Captain

Loh Zhi Ying

Loh Zhi Ying, Men’s Team Captain

“The team is highly motivated and grateful for the support from Triple Pte Ltd, and to be equipped with high-performance compression gear from Under Armour. Having the right training gear definitely helps individual athletes in enhancing their performance, by improving power endurance and helps in post training recovery. The teams have started intensive full-time training, and are confident with their performance to gun for their goal at SEA Games this year,” says Mr Derick Tan, Team Manager of the 2015 Men’s National Dragon Boat Team.

THE ADVOCATES

Derick Tan

Derick Tan, National Team Manager (Men’s Team)

John McGrath

John McGrath, SVP at Singapore Dragon Boat Association

The men’s team secured a milestone victory in the 10-men, 500m event, by clinching gold at the 17th SEA Games held locally in 1993. This was a historical win as Singapore’s first podium finish in this illustrious sport. In 2013, the nation’s women’s team fought hard to secure a landmark bronze in the five-crew, 500m-race during the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar.

Representing Under Armour in Singapore, Triple Pte Ltd has also been supporting and recognising our nation’s sporting individuals who have excelled in their own sport, including the nation’s only competitive female rower Saiyidah Aisyah, who clinched a gold medal at the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar; Singapore’s first UFC fighter, Royston Wee; and Singapore’s only tennis player who competes regularly in the WTA circuit, Sarah Pang, who was also recently selected to represent Singapore to compete in the Fed Cup this year.

THE MENTORS

Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo

Coach Naiang Naiang Htoo, Head Coach – Dragon Boat Team Singapore

Bryan Kieu

Bryan Kieu, National Coach (Men’s Team)

“We believe in supporting our national paddlers and other national sportsmen both physically and emotionally, to spur them to be better athletes and excel in their sport,” added Mr Chai.

Source: Company Press Release
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The Future of Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat has gained enormous popularity in countries like Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, United States, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Great Britain, Slovak Republic, and Sweden. In Western Asia: Qatar, Israel and United Arab Emirates. In Asia Pacific, it has become widely popular in Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, India, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and China (where it all began some 2,500 years back).

The Future of Dragon Boat

While it is already popular in so many countries, the sport is getting more and more admired and well-liked, as evident in the growing number of membership in the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). It now has over 80 members and with newcomers from Monaco, Argentina, Ivory Coast, Qatar and Greece.

The following are fifteen definitive wishes that may have crossed your mind as a passionate dragon boater. No matter how wild or crazy these wishes or predictions may be, you have aspired for one, or two, or even five of them, for this sport that we all love. The question is: How do you contribute in pushing to the future of Dragon Boat?

15. To headline in Sports Illustrated Online.

After all, Dragon Boat is such a fun, tough, exciting, and colourful sport. It deserves to be in the ranks of other popular sports such as Basketball, Cricket or Baseball–which often headlines the news on print, online and TV. Are you ready for your close-up?

14. To be able to see a dragon boat coach or an IDBF Official in the cover of TIME Magazine.

For starters, it’s great to have Mike Haslam, Executive President at IDBF and Mike Thomas, Chair Holder for Competition and Technical Commission at IDBF, grace the cover of the weekly magazine. Dragon boat coaches are often neglected and under recognised. They deserve more.

13. To have a dragon boat paddler in the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Dragon boaters are sexy beasts and belles. Enough said already.

12. To be a top story feature on Walt Disney Company’s ESPN.

While the sport has been a part of traditional water sports of many cultures, especially of the Asia and the Pacific, it is now the fastest growing team sports globally. It propagates the advancement of health and fitness and likewise promotes camaraderie and sportsmanship. I would want to watch an exclusive feature of it in the most popular sports channel.

11. To have individual paddlers rise to colossal stardom.

Like other team sports, dragon boat paddlers deserve to have the recognition and popularity as that of David Beckham (Soccer), Lionel Messi (Soccer), Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket), Shahid Afridi (Cricket), Alex Rodriquez (Major League Baseball), Derek Jeter (MLB), Lebron James (Basketball), Brittney Griner (Basketball), Kobe Bryant (Basketball) or Christiano Ronaldo (Soccer).

10. For teams to become strong valuable global brands.

Think of dragon boat teams becoming as big as the New York Yankees, Real Madrid or Manchester United. Souvenir shops selling merchandise with your team name and logo on mugs, scarves, pens, t-shirts, and key chains. Oh, and yes, a co-branding on Gatorade Tumblers is not impossible, too. This could happen.

9. For the Academe to provide Athletic Scholarships for Dragon Boat.

Imagine getting a free college education for Dragon Boating. It wouldn’t also hurt to have more empirical researches and studies about this sport; and to cite Dragon Boat in the core subjects taken by Sport Science Majors. In some universities, it is already a Sport Elective in the Physical Education courses. Way to go!

8. For Universities and Colleges to pay their dragon boat student-athletes.

This will lead to creating student-athletes to jumpstart a sporting career in dragon boat while studying. Ultimately, that’s where and how the big names in Basketball and other sports get discovered.

7. For National Sports Agencies to compensate their Dragon Boat National Teams fairly.

In the future, we really wish that each country’s Sports Commission or Sports Ministry would allocate same allowances and grants for the Dragon Boat sport–an equal footing with Table Tennis, Rowing, Basketball, Soccer, Cricket, et cetera. Oh, and, with additional bonuses for successful races and other special perks for these equally hardworking athletes.

6. For NIKE and ADIDAS to create dragon boat designed kits.

These two sportswear giants should start prioritising with their research on dragon boat training wear. Since Dragon boaters, or any athletes of different athletic disciplines for that matter, are fond of buying just about any gear that’s related to the sport, it will be a sure hit. Most especially if the product has the proven technology which maximises the athletic performance. Perhaps Ralph Lauren can take part in the design process, too.

Nike and Adidas, you’re welcome! You may share some of your millions to this blogger for the idea.

5. For EA Sports and other gaming companies to develop a dragon boat sport video and computer games.

Wouldn’t it be fun? Straight line races or long distance races; Tail Race System or Repechage System; Men’s, Women’s or Mixed Classes; Seniors or Juniors; there’s just lots of areas to explore, and, it can be multi-player, too. The game would let players choose on which race venue or race distance they’d want to play; or, they can pick a player’s position or even multi-positions in the boat. To add more excitement to the computer game, it should have race officials to implement the rules of racing, et cetera. Again, it’ll be fun and interactive.

You’re welcome, EA Sports!

4. Live Telecast of the Games

This goes to SKY SPORTS, MSG Network and other major sports networks: Give us a live telecast of the major annual dragon boat events such as the Club Crew World Championships, EDBF European Club Crew Championships, European Nations Champs, Asian Champs, IDBF World Championships.

3. Dragon Boat = Super Bowl

For Dragon Boat to be as big as the Super Bowl–where advertisers would kill to spend millions of their advertising budget on a 30-seconder spot; and to have music big shots like Beyoncé, Bruno Mars or The Black Eyed Peas to perform (as in Halftime) just right before the Semis. It’s not a secret that dragon boaters love to party!

2. For the IDBF World Nations Championships to be like the FIFA World.

Try to imagine the future of dragon boat races where thousands of fans fly in to the host country to watch the races. This will not only promote the sport of dragon boat and its development but will also breed international co-operation and unity. Since it is a water sports, and it attracts massive participation, I think a good mission would be to promulgate awareness and peace on the territorial disputes and claims in the oceans and seas. We only have one planet, let’s share it peacefully.

1. To be a featured event in the Summer Olympic Games.

A bit of good news: IDBF’s application for Recognition in the IOC International Federation had been submitted to the IOC Sports Department and is now in progress. Let’s keep our paddles crossed!

What’s your wish for the future of the sport of dragon boating?

 
Photo Credit: Kelvin Pao
 
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On Chasing your Dragon Boat Dreams

This Q&A was with Yeo Chin Hwei, Vice President (High Performance) at Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA).

About his early years in Dragon Boating

Our featured paddler Mr. Yeo Chin Hwei is known to his dragon boat peers as simply–Chin Hwei. He started in the sport of dragon boat with the National University of Singapore’s dragon boat team in 2001.

Later on, he joined Dragon Boat Team Singapore (N-Team) in 2002. With some breaks in between, Chin Hwei became a national athlete up until 2010. He also assumed the role of Captain of N-Team in 2007.

Singapore Dragon Boat Association or the SDBA is the National Sports Authority for the sport of dragon boat in Singapore and one of its missions is to “develop and maintain a world class National Team at both senior and junior levels.” Chin Hwei has been catapulted as one of SDBA’s Management Committee members from 2012 to present.

Currently, he is holding the position of Vice-President for High Performance in the committee. As VP for High-Performance, he is in charge mostly of the N-Team affairs. Recently, he jumpstarted a publicity and recruitment campaign for Dragon Boat Team Singapore. This will highlight the N-Team’s journey to SEA Games 2015.

Let’s Make History

This powerful tagline “Let’s Make History”, endeavours to attract strong and passionate paddlers to join the pool of National Athletes to represent Singapore in the South East Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2015. Next year’s games will be hosted by Singapore, coincidentally, it is also the Garden State’s 50th Anniversary of its independence.

Insofar as dragon boating in Asia is concerned, teams from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, are known to be consistently ranking as top teams in both Asia and World Championships. “It is now time for Singapore to shine in the dragon boat arena!“, Chin Hwei asserted.

In next year’s SEA Games, eight dragon boat events for both Men’s and Women’s categories will be featured: 500m and 200m 12 Crew; 500m and 200m 6 Crew.

dragon boat singapore

L-R: Glenn Chan, Terence Ong, Yeo Chin Hwei & Chua Kwee Hong at Guangzhuo Asian Games 2010

In this brief interview with Chin Hwei, he shared his own journey in terms of dragon boating, and indeed, this man’s sheer passion in the sport and for his country is exceptional.

Q: Would you share to us the context of becoming Captain of N-Team and then one of the Vice Presidents of SDBA? Tell us your leadership style?

A: “Honestly speaking, I never see myself as a leader. I am actually someone who doesn’t like to talk. To a certain extent I am an introvert. How I was pushed into the captain role or MC (Management Committee) is always due to circumstances and coincidence. In 2007, we practically have to rebuild the team after the exit of many paddlers in 2006. Being the most senior of the team at that time, I automatically became the captain. For role in the MC, it was due to an introduction by a current MC member who pulled me into the committee. Given a choice, I would not want to be a leader but when the situation requires you to contribute and since I still have my dream and passion, I think I just go with the heart.”

Q: Any distinct style on your approach as a leader?

A: “As a leader I am not a motivator. I don’t believe in saying too much. I believe in leading by example and making more sacrifices than the rest because if you want others to follow your dream and passion, you need to show them how it is done. Action speaks louder than words.”

Q: If you are to give some advice to aspiring National Athletes, what would it be? What do you hope for them?

A: “I believe in sharing your dream and passion. My dream in dragon boating has not changed since I joined the sport. I have the utmost respect for the Southeast Asian teams. They inspired me not just by their will to succeed and their humility. I want to show that we Singaporeans can do it too. I have retired as an athlete, failing to accomplish my dream but I hope one day I can see Singapore dragon boat to be able to challenge my most respected competitors.”

If there is such a thing as a Dragon Boat Merit badge, Chin Hwei’s race jersey will have loads of it. More power to him and his big dreams for the N-Team!

dbteamsg

CALL FOR NATIONAL ATHLETES: The Dragon Boat Team Singapore is now recruiting “New Bloods!” If you have what it takes to be in the N-Team and you have dreams of representing Singapore in the SEA Games 2015, email info@dbteamsg.sg or visit http://dbteamsg.sg for more information and to signify your interest.

Twitter: @dbteamsg
Instagram: @dbteamsg

*This interview has been edited and condensed

 

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