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Traditional boat racing is a team sport that can be enjoyed by most. Before you can get started, you should be able to tread water and swim in wet clothing for at least 50m. This is a safety requirement of the sport and organisations are stringent that all paddlers follow this regulation.
The Singapore Dragon Boat Association does provide sessions for recreational paddlers, but this is subject to the number of people in each session as well as equipment and instructor availability. You do not need to be physically fit or have any experience in paddling. However, you should consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions before joining a recreational paddling team.
Upon joining a recreational team, you will improve cardiovascular fitness and coordination. This sport is also ideal as a group or corporate activity as it provides a unique platform for team-building or can be used as an attraction in fundraisers, festivals or inter-company challenges.
Paddling a dragon boat may seem easy but the simplicity of the paddling movement requires strength and endurance that comes from having strong muscles and well-conditioned lungs. Proper technique will also improve stroke efficiency and minimise the risk of injury.
The trunk of the body provides the main source of power. A a good trunk rotation movement, extending the stretch forward from the hip, will help minimise lower back injury. The continuous paddling action can cause your arms to become fatigued easily, but proper stretching can help alleviate the soreness. Learning to time your breathing pattern to your paddling stroke can also minimise oxygen deficiency.
Unlike rowing, paddlers only need to focus their paddling on one side of the boat. However, prolonged usage of muscles on one side can lead disproportionate musculature development. It is advised that paddlers work on the side of their body opposite to the one they normally use on the boat with appropriate weight training.
Traditional Boat Racing has many health benefits that far exceeds the risk of injury. With proper attention to health and safety regulations, risk of injury is further minimised. This is an all-round sport and a good activity for social interaction. Why not try it today?
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