Filled with the sound of drums, chanting, cheering, and laughing, the Dragon Boat Race docks of Wenzhou University was bustling with noise and excitement this past weekend. Thirteen international students with different skin colors speaking different mother tongues had a wonderful adventure at Dragon Boat Race, a Chinese traditional sport.
Mope Thipana, an international student from Lesotho, rowed the dragon boat with other 12 international students from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria respectively. As memembers of the first international student dragon boat of Wenzhou University, they trained hard to win at the First Wenzhou Campus Dragon Boat Race.
“This training is great. Since this is my first time to row a dragon boat, I was a little afraid at the beginning. But when the boat started to run, I didn’t wanna stop. I am looking forward to the next training.” Mope Thipana said excitedly.
From warming up on the river bank to relevant skill practices, coaches from the Water Games Team of Wenzhou University were strict with international students in hopes they would master the key skills. Racing rules and etiquette were explained to the international students before they started rowing their dragon boat. After two hours practice, the international students mastered almost all basic skills. They then had to practice dragon boat racing with teams from other colleges.
“At first, we staggered on the boat, and sometimes even turned the boat, but now we can run the boat, so we are proud of what we can do with the boat,” said Kandie from Kenya. “This is our first time to row a dragon boat. We thought it was just boat paddling, but it is much harder. We not only have to stay focused, but also have to listen to the rhythm of the drum”.
At the end of their training, the international students expressed their desire to learn more and were eager for the next training. They said that dragon boat racing was an exciting sport. They shared photos of their training with their family and friends. At the same time, they posted their photos to social medias received lots of “likes”. “It is a precious experience to join in Chinese traditional sport like this,” commented Ybrayym Gylychlyyev from Turkmenistan, whose families and friends encouraged him to try his best in the race.
Water Games Team of Wenzhou University was founded in March, 2016, and the Dragon Boat Race Training Base was unveiled in 27th, July of the same year. Except dragon boat race, the Base is also for Kayak, Canoe, SUP and other water games training. With the training given by coaches led by Zhu Minyuan, students form each college practiced diligently and won several prizes in the China Longzhou Tournament, National College Student Kayak Tournament and other national games.