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云上岭南 Lingnan on the Cloud
Guangzhou's special dragon boat team clinches Care Group championship
来源:羊城晚报 云上岭南 作者:徐振天 发表时间:2024-06-05 22:15

The first National Fitness Championship (South China Region) Dragon Boat Race and the 2024 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Shenzhen-Bao'an) Maozhou River Dragon Boat Race were held on May 25th-26th. Thirty-seven dragon boat teams from the GBA gathered at Maozhou River, engaging in spectacular dragon boat races.

In preparation for the dragon boat race, Panyu District of Guangzhou established a special inclusive dragon boat team. The team consists of 10 able-bodied individuals who are passionate about dragon boat sports and committed to supporting the cause of disabled people, along with 6 disabled individuals who have a strong enthusiasm for participating in sports. The disabled athletes hail from the Shilou Town Kangyuan Worker Therapy Demonstration Station in Panyu District. A professional coaching team developed a scientific training plan for them.

On the race day, several special dragon boat teams from the Greater Bay Area, accompanied by the pounding drums and cheers of the audience, swiftly paddled through the waters. After intense competition, the team from Panyu District of Guangzhou emerged victorious, winning first place in the care group.

This hard-earned championship marks a significant achievement. Zhao Wei, the leader of the team, mentioned that some team members have mental disabilities, which posed communication challenges during training. "Participating in the competition and winning the championship greatly benefit their personal growth as athletes, and also encourage more people with intellectual disabilities to step out and engage in sports."

At the Shilou Town Kangyuan Worker Therapy Demonstration Station in Panyu District, He Qirong, a disabled member of the team, had just finished a day of handicraft work. This was He Qirong's first time participating in the dragon boat race. Initially, he didn't even know how to hold a paddle. Three days into the training, he considered quitting due to the strenuous effort. However, with the encouragement of his teammates and the patient guidance of the coaches, he persevered and eventually developed a fondness for the sport.

This was also the first time that Chen Haozhong, president of the Shilou Town Dragon Boat Association, served as a coach for disabled dragon boat athletes. Having dedicated nearly 20 years to dragon boating and engaged in numerous professional dragon boat events both in and out of China, he still faced challenges in coaching athletes with varying levels of ability. For the disabled athletes, basic dragon boat movements - starting, paddling, stroking, recovering, and resetting - and coordinating with teammates were not easy. It took them more than ten days to master these basics and get into the rhythm of training.

More important than teaching the dragon boat movements was ensuring the safety of the disabled athletes during training and competition. "We adopted a method where two able-bodied athletes paired with one disabled athlete, and tailored training plans for them. To build physical strength, each person did 20 push-ups daily. The process requires extreme patience because we need to provide gradual guidance and make corrections step by step."

After this competition, what struck Chen Haozhong the most was the increased willpower of the disabled athletes. They no longer gave up easily and were more persistent in their efforts. This spirit will inspire others at the Kangyuan Worker Therapy Demonstration Station, continuing the story of courage and dream-pursuing.

Source: Yangcheng Evening News










文丨记者 徐振天