One of the truly unforgettable experiences in Hong Kong is the Dragon Boat Festival. Held once a year in June, the festival is a combination of team spirit, energy and perseverance all on the beat of a drummer.
Dragon boats are also very beautiful and very long (able to host up to 18 people at the time plus a coach and a drummer). They are thin and colourful and they have a dragon’s head at one end.
During the competition male, female and mixed teams race in good spirit. Dragon boat racing is a sport of coordination and a lot of practice, so what you see on the day of the race is usually the result of countless hours of perseverance, commitment and hard training (usually for several months before the big day).
One of the newest teams this year were the Renegades, an all-female team that put the environment at the centre of their training – so they do not use disposable plastic bottles whilst racing, and endeavour to clean up the beach before or after training. The team had been training for months in Stanley before today.
Although the Dragon Boat competition is local and authentic you don’t have to be a Hong Kong local in order to join in. It is open to all nationalities, so the Renegades has a wonderful mix of different nationalities.
If you wish to join this or other teams feel free to contact the teams. Some train during the week, others at the weekend, once or twice per week.
Roberta Camilleri, the Renegades captain is very proud of her team and welcomes new females interested in trying the sport out to see if it is for them.
“During the months of training you don’t only get fitter, you make a real bond with the other members of the team,” she says.
Camilleri has participated in the Dragon Boat competition for the past three years and is very glad that she tried it out and found a sport that she is really passionate about.