DRAGON boat action shifts to Cebu this weekend as 22 teams from different regions will compete in the 2019 Cebu City Dragonboat Regatta at the Bayfront Il Corso Mall at the South Road Properties.
Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc. (Pads) executive director JP Maunes said in a press conference on Friday, May 3, all things are set for the two-day sporting event after three months of preparation.
“We want to prove that Cebuanos can host a quality dragon boat race. We thought of only having a small race at first but sponsors started coming in and a lot of participants from different places have registered,” he said. “That’s when we realized that we are in for a big event.”
Charisse Piramide, Pads board president, added that there will be 100 Pads members who will volunteer for the event on top of another 100 volunteers outside of Pads.
“It takes a whole community for us to make this race. The Cebu City Sports Commission provided the billeting area, mats and hydration packs for the visiting paddlers. The Cebu City Government also provided buses for transportation to the venue,” Maunes said.
The competing teams are from Tacloban, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Manila, Butuan, Dumaguete City, Bohol, Surigao City, Surigao del Sur and Negros Occidental.
The host venue Bayfront Il Corso Mall welcomes all the participants and encourages them to join the clean up drive dubbed “COASTodian.”
“The participants will join a cleanup drive before the start of the race. It’s our own little way of helping the environment in line with our project launched during the last Earth Hour,” said Filinvest Lifemalls marketing manager George Calles.
Calles said the mall is a perfect spot for outdoor sporting events like running, cycling and dragon boat.
Pads team captain Arnold Balais said it’s the chance for Visayas and Mindanao teams to gauge their level against the dragon boat clubs from Luzon.
Pads will not be competing and will focus on the organizing side.
The Philippine Army team, the country’s representative to the upcoming dragon boat World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand on Aug. 20 to 26, will be one of the heavy favorites in the men’s open division.
The categories to be contested are the 200-meter premier open small boat, premier mixed small boat, premier women small boat, inter-city paradragon championship small boat, youth mixed small boat, youth open small boat, and youth women small boat.
The championship for the women’s and the para dragon boat competition will be played on May 4, while the finals of the other events are set on Sunday, May 5.
The champions in the premier open small boat, premier women, premier mixed will each win a P20,000 cash prize, while runners-up will get P15,000 and P10,000, respectively.
The race is conducted as a fund-raising event for Pads, which will represent the country in the para-dragon boat division in the world championship in Thailand. (RSC)