06 April 2014 09:11

 The 2nd Dragon Boat Challenge is taking place on Sunday at Yermasoyia Dam at 9am. Organised by the Cyprus Dragon Boat Association, the event will see six teams competing, with both male and female crews aged between 14 and 60 years old. The race will have exclusively local participation, in an effort to boost the experience of Cypriot paddlers to prepare them for an international event scheduled to take place in Limassol in October.
“Our aim is to raise the performance level of crews, but most importantly to get more people interested in this sport. Unfortunately, Cypriots are a bit reluctant to try water sports, mostly because it’s something new for us. At this point we want to attract novice crews - people who haven’t tried the sport yet,” Kyriakos Christophi, Committee Cashier, Cyprus Dragon Boat Association told The Cyprus Weekly.
There are currently three teams that are members of the Cyprus Dragon Boat Association: Limassol Paddle Sports, the Limassol Spartans, and the Limassol Dragons. All teams practise at Yermasoyia Dam every weekend and are open to new members of all ages and fitness levels.
Dragon Boating is believed to have originated in ancient China. Each boat symbolises a dragon and has a dragon head for a bow, and a dragon tail for a stern.  The 20 paddlers, 10 on each side, symbolise the dragon’s legs.  There is also a drummer and a steerer (at the helm).  The boats race for a distance of 200, 500 or 1000 metres in sport racing, or longer distances in traditional festivals.
The International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) was created in 1991. Today there are more than 50 million registered members in China, 300,000 in Europe, 90,000 in the USA and Canada, as well as thousands in Australia and New Zealand.  The Cyprus Dragon Boat Association was launched in 2008.
For more information contact the Cyprus Dragon Boat Association at cyprusdba@gmail.com, or visit their website at http://www.cyprusdba.org


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