Canadians love to help others by doing volunteer work. Seniors work in hospitals, they drive cancer patients, they distribute food, there is almost no end.
Sometimes, the task to collect money for charitable organizations is combined with fun. This brief web site shows how money was collected for the fight against breast cancer by organizing a dragon boat race in St. Catharines.
Neither Elizabeth nor most of her friends have ever used a dragon boat. For that reason some training with basic instructions were required.
As a guest we had a young Swiss student in our house who joined also without having any problems. She enjoyed it also very much.
If you never have visited a dragon boat regatta, this site will give you a small impression. Just check local papers or ask in any tourist office where such an event takes place if you are interested.
No dragon heads or dragon tails on the boat during training
You can see most of the rowers are not any longer teenagers
The last instructions
For our Swiss student the regatta added some flavor of Ontario to her stay. It was easy for Elizabeth to get her into the team.
If you are visitor and want to participate actively in such an event - just ask. Otherwise just come and have a great day!
A dragon head:
The race is on
No wonder that many of the volunteers were exhausted after the race. It was very hot and many of them were not in the greatest shape.
Many teams enjoyed also a little party right here!
We had a party at the house of the sponsor of our team. Food and all kind of drinks were provided. Many preferred the non- alcoholic ones. The social gathering is more important than getting drunk!
A basic training was mandatory
Elizabeth and her friends had already lots of fun during the training which took place in the evening. Our young Swiss guest was very strong and proofed very beneficial to the team. Nobody went over board.
For the training the decorative dragon heads and tails were removed from the boats to prevent any damage.
There were also no drummers in the boats.
Naturally, a fee had to be paid for the use of the expensive boats. A sponsor paid for that and after the real race was over, we all were invited into his house for a party. His wife was also a volunteer rower.
We all had a good time and Elizabeth volunteered in more dragon boat regattas.
Unfortunately, so far she did not have a chance in 2009.
Kayaking became another favorite of hers. We both participated in a basic course and she loved it - even when she was shivering because it was a little bit cool on the water. For me the heavy plastic boat was a surprise. As a teenager I owned a light weight wooden kayak which flipped over when you did not know what you were doing.
Waiting for going into action
Rowing, especially in a dragon boat is very popular in Canada. When Elizabeth, my wife, has been asked by her colleagues if she would be willing to participate in such a race, she was immediately excited.
Dragon boats came originally from China. They have a dragon head and a dragon tail which are removed for training runs. They are nicely painted.
During the actual race a drummer sits in the bow of each boat and sets the pace for the paddlers or rowers. This is also a help to synchronize their efforts.
Naturally, the course of the boat has to be controlled. For that reason a steer person stands in the back of the boat. A long oar is used to do this important task.
Two rowers sit always side by side.
For this event the most essential task was to collect as much money as possible to support the fight against breast cancer. But still every team gave their best to win.
The national Anthem was payed during the opening ceremony
Canadians are always proud of their country. They are not as uptight as Germans who need most the time a special event. Many houses fly our flag or have it on their cars. Due to the speed limit they even last very long there.
The little girl who sung the national anthem received lots of applause.
Teams were jeered by the fans. I was happy about all the announcements which were provided through loud speakers
Winners - there were only winners
You must not bring and food. Everything was provided - even cold beer!