Using hockey sticks instead of paddles is not your conventional way to train for a dragon boating competition.
But that was the case for the St Dominic’s College paddlers, who only had four sessions on the water before they raced towards the podium in the recent College Sport Auckland Dragon Boat Championships.
Teacher Robynne Andrews said the newly formed team trained sitting on chairs in the school’s hall using hockey sticks to imitate paddling. The Auckland Dragon Boat Association stepped in to supply the team with oars for the races.
“I guess you could say it was innovative land-based training. The bad weather meant they couldn’t train on the water as planned,” Andrews said. “Going over the finish line with a placement in every race and not being back of the field is a tough ask for first timers on the water.”