Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club Open Day

Work out and by coached by an Australian representative of Dragon Boat Racing with the friendly Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club every Saturday morning 8-10am, Tuesday and Thursday nights 6:30-8pm every week – $260pp/year or $200pp/year for a student. That’s $1.66 or $1.28 PER SESSION. You can come along to three sessions for FREE, to see if it is something you like before deciding to join the club.

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“Different Strokes is a Sydney-based dragon boat club that predominantly caters for the gay and lesbian community. Our members consist of individuals who identify themselves as gay or lesbian, as well as their friends, family and supporters. We range in age from 14 to 60 and are almost equally split between genders.”

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A Saturday morning last week was the Open Day for a paddle out at Blackwattle Bay.

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Surprisingly there were around 60 people who came despite the weather to register for one of four boats at the tent.

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Arriving at 9:30 (assuming that it was a 9:45 start), we were waiting around until 10:30 for things to get moving. Firstly, you had to sign the sheet that you could swim 50 metres, and you were given a coloured wristband for a designated boat.

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First, Tanya, the coach who has represented Australia in China, Poland and other countries, told us the history of Dragon Boating, of the club, and how they run.

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Then we got teamed up and used our paddles for some on-shore demonstrations to learn the basic terminology.

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Notice the paddles look slightly different..

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Then we headed into the bay for to try out our new tricks and run some standard drills. Races are usually 200m, 500m or 2500m. Our arms killed after paddling for 2 minutes, which is usually the time it takes to paddle 500m!

We all got a good feel of our paddles and learnt some techniques to improve the speed of our paddling, and we even used no paddles to move the boat forward!!

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After around 45 minutes in the water we all helped put the boats back on the racks.

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A wonderful and much deserved sausage sizzle with drinks were awaiting us!

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It was also a great chance to meet with other people in the collective and know what its like to train with the club. You get how much you put into it. The more you go, the more you’ll get out of it. We were even told that Different Strokes Dragon Boat has so much potential that you could even represent Australia in a few years!

Below is us and Tanya.

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Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Different Strokes Open Day): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I go every week to Different Strokes Dragon Club? If I lived in the city or got a full time job working in the city, this is definitely a yes! No equipment needed, for all ages and sizes, and even watch the sunset every Tuesday and Thursday at Blackwattle Bay.

Would I pay the membership price for the full year? As I calculated before, it would only be $1.66 per session if I go 3 times a week for a whole year. On top of that, I get to work out my core, arms, thighs and other muscles. How good is that? On Tuesdays, men and women work out separately and on Thursdays and Saturdays it is mixed.

Highlight: learning about Dragon Boat racing. To be honest, I’ve never been to a race recently. I really liked how there is actually so much technique in it, where you have to try and paint a straight line at the side of the boat. Even things like looking upwards, learning against the edge are some useful tips.

Suggestion of Improvement: The counting on the boat could’ve been a team effort. At times I got confused as to which number I was up to. It would’ve been nice to start on time, or even 15 minutes after for arrival times because we waited for quite a bit.

Ends: never

Link: http://differentstrokes.org.au/membership/free-trial.html

Angela Bee, images by Vivian

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