Gung Haggis dragon boat team practice – Sunday with Taiwanese boats

Good practice on Sunday, as we practiced starts and turns.
We have a wonderful group of people.  They commented on our last
social outing to see the Vancouver Symphony at Deer Lake, they are
thinking of which races they want to enter next year, and they each
tell me, that if we can stick together next year, we should 
really improve.

I keep saying this is the BEST Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team
we've ever had.  We haven't won a medal yet… but we have raced
in medal finals for Alcan Dragon Boat Festival and the Fraser Valley
DBF.  It's great to have a dragon boat team where people are
friendly towards each other, and don't place their personal egos above
the needs of the team.  I say this in comparision to other teams I
have known and raced with.  But all teams are built differently,
and serve different purposes.  Some serve as stepping stones to
competing at higher performance levels, some serve as singles meeting
places, Gung Haggis Fat Choy serves as an expression of
multiculturalism in action!

Issues of race and culture often creep into our social and practice
conversations.  Last week we talked about the upcoming Taiwanese
Dragon Boat Race, and how it helps to affirm a separate culture for the
Taiwanese government and people, as they are entrenched in a One China
debate constantly with the People's Republic of China.  We
discussed this openly with one of our paddlers born in Northern China,
while never visited Taiwan, he firmly believes that the two countries
should be united. 

No nasty arguements between people – just expressions of beliefs, and
agreements to disagree.  Imagine if the world's polital powers
actually worked this way.  Imagine if we could put all the
politicians in dragon boats.  Omigod!  They would have to
learn to work as a team!  And NOT just for personal glory and medals…  

Some of us are also paddling on another team going to race in San
Francisco.  We have commented on the different paddling styles on
different teams, and the need to blend in with each team's style –
otherwise philosophical clashes will occur.  Gee, just like real
life ideological wars.  Which style works best?  I always
think the style should suit the team's strengths and weaknesses,
instead of trying to make the team fit the style.  Sort of like
psychotherapy…. build the methods around the individual's belief
structures, instead of interpreting the belief strucutures to the
psychological theories.

We practice on Sundays at 1:30pm to 3:30pm and Wednesdays from 6 to 7:45pm at 215 West 1st Ave.

more later….

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