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My First Representative Dragon Boating Team Campaign

Having returned from a fun and indulgent food-filled Christmas holiday, my initial thought of trialing towards my first representative dragon boating team campaign was, "I am screwed". Having consumed too many Filipino sweets, I was not in my best shape, let alone ‘paddle fit’.


The journey trialling for the Sydney Metro Region team, began with the ultimate test of physical endurance and mental strength - a 2km rowing erg challenge. I had arrived back from holiday on a Wednesday morning and the due date for my result was on Saturday that same week. The anxiety started to creep in and at this point, I was just going to do my best. To set myself a goal, I consulted with Sydney Metro Region coach Felix, to figure out what my ideal target time should be. With that, I was ready to tackle the erg. 


On Thursday morning, I attempted my first 2km rowing erg ever! Talk about leaving things to the last minute. My time reflected my initial thought - well over my target and showed I was still recovering from the red-eye flight home. Friday morning arrived and this was my last chance to prove to myself whether I can reach, or even surpass, my target. Coach Felix had set the target of 9 minutes or under - my time was 8 minutes 59 seconds! Got to save the best for last, right?  


Following the intense erg test, the spotlight shifted to the dragon boat itself. A swift and dynamic 200m single dragon boat trial awaited, designed to test the paddler's agility and to make sure that every stroke counted. Similar to the 2km rowing erg, I had never completed a single dragon boat trial until the week of the Region v Region trial. I managed to squeeze in two trials during DSA evening training sessions but went into that Saturday morning trial at Bank Street with doubt. However, a handful of DSA members were trialling too, easing my nerves as we were hyping each other up and reassuring each other that no matter the result, you did your best. I did my trial, left it all out on the water and anxiously waited for confirmation whether I was successful in joining the Sydney Metro team or return to recover from post-holiday blues.  

Image: Renee (front row - fourth from left) at the Sydney Metro team trials with DSA crew

The following week, I received an email from Coach Felix with the headline ‘CONGRATULATIONS’. I was elated and immediately thought this is only the beginning. Having been selected into the Sydney Metro team, this is the first step towards my goal of potentially earning a coveted spot on the NSW Premier State team (this is now in writing so I can't back down!). I cannot wait to represent Sydney Metro at the State Championships in April and continue to learn from other paddlers in the team who bring a great amount of experience, knowledge and model technique.  

Watch this space! 😉

Image: Renee (left) stroking the women's crew at the Sydney Metro team training session

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