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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9 Dragon Boat Principles to Help you Win at Life

The sport of Dragon Boat has taught you many lessons that you can apply in real life. Teamwork and camaraderie for example, are just two of a number of life principles that you may have picked up or developed from the sport. To make your dragon boating life more meaningful, you should embrace all the learnings from it, especially those that make you an expert about life.

Qualities like mental toughness, being a team player, or having a winning mindset are just some of the takeaways you have acquired from dragon boat. Here’s a few compilation of some of the most inspiring words of wisdom by national athletes from around the world; and here’s hoping that you may embody these amazing qualities to help you and your team in stepping up your game, in sport, and, in life.

Ed Nguyen


1. Leave your Ego by the Dock Site

“That one crucial part is for members to leave their ego at the door. You can have a team full of the best athletes in the world, but if they can’t check their egos and blend with humility, it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Christine Pezzulo, National Athlete – Team USA

2. Paddles Up! Persevere!

“Keep going, keep your head up, be proud! Always reach further, I was told I would never walk again! I could not, WOULD not accept that! You keep battling! Afghanistan was my war, now my injury is my war! Life is for living; live it to the max.”

Mark Harding, National Athlete – Great Britain Dragon Boat Team

3. Listen to the Beat of the Drum

“I always maintain a healthy respect for my paddlers of all levels, since I am often paddling in the boat with them too. I am aware that as a sole person I may not see or understand all things of all paddlers at all times. So I encourage healthy discussion and conversation from my paddlers. This two-way dialogue encourages respect and cohesion amongst the paddlers.”

Dennis Wright, National Athlete – Auroras – Australian Dragon Boat Team

4. Keep a Fit Mind and Body

“I think the key to success in sport is staying physically and mentally energetic by staying motivated and free from physical obstacles like injuries and illnesses.”

Carl Marco Wassén, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Sweden (Sverige)

5. Paddle with your Heart

“We play sports like dragon boat because we love doing it. The awards and medals are only a small part of it. Yes, you will strive to be the best but in so doing, loving and enjoying the sport is already an ultimate goal achieved.”

Nutcharat Chimbanrai, National Athlete – Thailand Dragon Boat Team

6. Practice builds Confidence

“Never give up and have a big goal and ambition. One needs to be very confident on training and during competition. The most important thing is to keep training and practice a lot.”

Wu Chun-Chieh, National Athlete – Chinese-Taipei Dragon Boat Team

7. Motivated to Motivate

“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.”

Kiyoshi Morishita, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Canada

8. Synchronised for One Goal

“Unity 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

9. Celebrate Victory, but..

“The victories in the past give self-confidence of course and also the necessary composure for the upcoming challenges. However, one shouldn’t relax on the victories from the past; there will always be new aims, new opponents and therefore also new duties.”

Marc Rößler, National Athlete – Team Germany (Deutschland)

Ed Nguyen


Photo Credits: Ed Nguyen Photography

 
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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.

Funniest Dragon Boat Meme

Dragon Boat Meme 5

Meme Credit: Dragon Boat Sport

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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