Dragon Boat races in January? Of course not, but January 1 is the time to think about New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t thought about it already and you’ve been neglecting your body, it’s time to consider getting back into shape. How about starting to train now for the Dragon Boat races June 23-24 in Toronto?
These races are among the best multicultural events in Toronto and the world. Of Chinese origin, you can now find them in countries like Israel, the Ukraine, Australia, Dubai, and the U.S. as well as in China and Canada.
Dragon-boating is an exhilarating team sport. Racers may be 15 years of age and up. The races themselves are short. For breast-cancer survivors, training is one of the best therapies. My friend Margaret Young started racing when she was over 70.
You can join a corporate, school, or community team. You don’t have to be Chinese to take part. In Toronto, it’s been about a third Chinese, a third Caucasian, and a third other ethnic groups. Teams often are ethnically mixed. Men and women might race on the same boat. Talk to your boss about a company team if you don’t have one already. Be prepared, however, to spend hours of practise indoors and out. Be prepared to harden your muscles, lose weight, and have a lot of fun. Money raised goes to local charities. It’s a win-win situation.
See http://www.torontodragonboat.com/ and the International Dragon Boat Federation web-site: http://www.idbf.org/. Both web-sites should be updating soon but these are good places to start. I hope veteran racers will tell us their experiences.