With the weather getting better this time of year, why not try a new sport to get yourself out of doors?
If you think dragons are confined to blowing deadly fires and burning their way to treasures, well, the ones in Doha are definitely friendlier and a lot more sporty. Introducing dragon boating with Angry Dragons, one of a few dragon boat teams in Qatar.
What is a dragon boat?
A traditional long Chinese boat, the craft is decorated to resemble a dragon with a head and tail when participating in races. Dragon boating has taken place for over 2,000 years throughout southern China – today it has become one of the fastest growing international team water sports. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and the US.
There are usually 20 paddlers in the boat (10 on each side), a steer, and the coach or drummer at the front, making a total of 22 people on a full team. Teams can be mixed or single sex. The paddlers work in unison to propel the boat forwards from a standing start, the aim simply being to reach the finish line in the fastest time.
Team members are encouraged to not just paddle for fitness (you will get fit if you are not already!), but to be fit to paddle. With that in mind, Angry Dragons hold two boat-training sessions a week – on Friday and Saturday – and a boot camp for land-training one evening in the week (for full members).
Joining Angry Dragons is not just about commitment, racing, training and fitness, but also about joining a mixed, friendly, sociable and supportive group of people who have the same goal and interest, and enjoy each others’ company both on and off the boat. Their strength is in their diversity, and they currently have 13 nationalities represented on the boat.
Interested in joining?
Email JoinAngryDragons@gmail.com for a membership form, waiver form and directions to the training site at Katara Beach. To go along and meet the team, either email or send a message via WhatsApp to 3317 6827. The folks at Angry Dragons will sign you up for the next introductory session, which is normally held on a Saturday. Please note that dragon boating is not suitable for children; interested participants must be over 18 years of age to join.
Visitors are welcome to join the team for two free sessions and provided with equipment (a paddle and personal flotation device) and given appropriate instruction. After these free sessions you can join the team and obtain your own equipment, including a jersey – but don’t worry, the team will help you get everything you need!
Everyone is welcome to come along and try the new sport in town – bring yourself and an open, fun attitude, but make sure you wear clothes you won’t mind getting wet in, plus a hat, and plenty of sunscreen and water for safe outdoor exercising.
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