Published At：2022-11-01 Views:75 2022-12-06 updated
On Friday 3rd of June, the 台大 GMBA Dragon Boat Team gathered at Pasta No30 in Dazhi for their team lunch before heading to Dajia Riverside for their first race. Excitement filled the room as they loaded up on some pasta to have energy for their race. They then all proceeded to the Dajia Riverside all dressed up in their red t-shirts and proudly waving the 台大 GMBA flag.
The sun was shining brightly and reflecting on the water of Dajia river. The cheer of joy and the excitement echoed on the banks of the river. They were finally at Dajia Riverside for the Taipei International Dragon Boat Competition 2022. The place was packed with people: some sitting on the concrete steps and chatting with their teams; some cheering for their team along the riverside; some showing their kids around. The team met with their supporters, all impatient for the first race. It was a great atmosphere. The NTU GMBA office members joined them and treated all of them to some sweet zongzi (粽子). That was a great way to celebrate the dragon boat festival and follow the tradition of eating zongzi (粽子). As the time ticked by, the team impatiently waited for their first race in the men’s competition. This was what they have been working for and this was the time. The festival was resized to a smaller scale last year due to Covid-19, so this year was the time for celebration- for some, it would be their last GMBA activity before graduating.
The 台大 GMBA Dragon Boat Team has been training hard for 6 weeks. Through these 6 weeks, they have transformed themselves from being new to the sport to being ready to compete. They have developed great endurance and perseverance through consistent training (even training through scorching sun and pouring rain), developed great teamwork and synchronisation and most importantly great bonding and friendship.
“Time for the warm up” shouted their coach, 小黑. The team gathered and started warming up. They did some stretching and warm up and it was time for some advice from the coach. After listening carefully to the coach, the captain gave the final motivational words and they all shouted: “GMBA, Jiayou! Jiayou! Jiayou!”. Carrying their flag, they waved to their supporters and marched towards the registration tent and onto their boat.
In the supporters stand, there was a tense feeling. “Attention, Ready, Go”- these words echoed across the riverside. The team started to paddle as quickly and strong as possible, water splashing across the side of their boat. This was the most important 30 seconds of the race, they needed that momentum to cruise. They paddled with all their strengths, following the beats and cheer of their drummer. As they passed the 400m mark, their flag catcher climbed onto the dragon’s head and stretched elegantly to catch the flag. She caught the flag and threw it in the air. They did it- they came second in the race, which means they qualified for the next heats. The roar of joy could be heard from the boat with all the team lifting their paddles up in sign of victory. This was followed by cheers and screaming from their supporters. They have made the 台大 GMBA program proud. They were embraced by their supporters as they off-boarded their boat and ran through the crowd with excitement. To celebrate, the team and supporters savoured some nice pork zongzi (粽子)- no time for crazy celebrations, they had to rest and prepare for the next race the following day.
On Saturday 4th of June, the 台大 GMBA Dragon Boat Team gathered for a second time for their second race. This time, they knew that winning the race would be tough- they were the only mixed team in the men’s race. Despite of this, they were ready for the challenge. They boarded the boat and gave their best paddle. Unfortunately, they came third and did not qualify for the semi-finals. As they off-boarded the boat and marched through the crowd, they were welcomed by a large cheer from the other teams. They knew they gave their best and it was a wonderful experience. This was an event to remember. They will come back stronger!