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What is Dragon Boating?

Dragon boating comprises a boat of 10 - 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson. It is a team sport that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance. Its appeal lies in its ability to accommodate a wide spectrum of skill levels ranging from novice to competitive.

At the novice and recreational level, teams often form for socialisation, team building and exercise. On the other hand, competitive paddlers train rigorously and condition themselves in strength, endurance, form, mental focus and, most importantly, timing. Competitive racing is a sport of inches and an exciting event for spectators as the cascade of boats explode through the water.

But the sport's growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level. Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising (link), and tool for corporate team building.

Benefits of dragon boating
- for individuals
Dragon boating provides individuals with a myriad of health benefits.
These include:
  • Enhanced cardiovascular fitness
  • Strength training of several muscle groups including those in the neck, back, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, and thighs
  • Improved coordination and increased awareness of how the body moves in relation to other paddlers
  • Reduced stressImproved mood, body image, confidence and self-esteemIncrease in energy levels
  • Social bonding, pride in being part of a team along with a sense of self-accomplishment
Benefits of dragon boating
- for corporations, organisations and groups

Dragon boating is one of the fastest growing corporate / group activities and is rich in learning opportunities. It provides a unique platform for the following purposes:
  • an ‘ice-breaker’ at a company conference or training course
  • a popular team building exercise
  • a superb motivational activity
  • an excellent inter office/company challenge
  • a fun social club activity
  • a brand-building exercise
  • an unusual attraction at a festival

Benefits include:
  • Enhanced camaraderie and teamwork resulting in strong, supportive relationships and therefore, cohesive
  • Collaboration, timing, effort, and putting team before self, similar qualities that are critical in workplaces and for teams
  • The bridging of communication gaps by bringing together staff of various levels – from CEO to janitor – to work alongside each other to achieve a common goal
  • Increased productivity and effectiveness via the exploration of group dynamics and the breaking down of barriers
  • Mass participation, regardless of gender, age, size, fitness levels and prior dragon boating experience
  • The physical experience of being in the dragon boat and feeling the synchronicity of group movement is an excellent springboard for clear, creative thinking and innovation
  • Boosts in employee self-confidence and motivation
  • A cost-effective, fun way to have people become healthier and be able to cope with stress better.

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