FSUU paddlers gear for Bohol race

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/06 April) – Members of the Father Saturnino Urios University dragon boat team are upbeat on their chances in the 2nd Cobra-Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) International Club Crew Challenge to be held three weeks from now in Dauis town, Panglao Island in Bohol.

But team captain Archie Sumalindao clarified that the team needs to do more to make it through the competition.

“As of the moment I think we have a 50–50 chance in landing a spot in the semifinals but so much is still needed to be done. Right now several of the team members lack the focus and determination and develop that mindset of going for it and giving out everything that they can to win the race,” said Sumalindao.

Forty-eight male and female students from FSUU have joined the 4:30-9:00am daily training to prepare them for the all-male, all female and mixed categories in the international dragon boat race.

Sumalindao, a veteran competitive swimmer and triathlete suggested that the paddlers should motivate themselves by studying, watching video and doing research about the sport.

FSUU women paddlers Laurice Munoz and Chrismae Tindoy shared the enthusiasm and confidence that they have the chance of garnering a place in the competition.

“It a huge pressure for all of us since we will be bringing not only the name of our school but also carrying the name of Butuan City on our shoulders,” said Munoz, a 3rd year economics student.

Tindoy, a first year accounting student and the youngest in the team at 17, said that the support from family members and friends is also a big help in boosting the confidence of the team members.

FSUU vice president Fr. Chito Butardo also expressed optimism on the chances of the school’s dragon boat team.

“This is a big challenge, since it will be our first time to compete in such a competition. We will be bringing not only the name of the school but of Butuan City as well. The exposure and experience will also be a chance for our paddlers to scale up their skill and learn more,” said Butardo.

Butardo, who started the idea of building Butuan’s first dragon boat team pointed out how privileged they are to be invited by PDBF and the organizer in Bohol.

“There are only two teams from Mindanao who are going to participate in the dragon boat event in Bohol, our team and the Sarimanok Club of Lanao del Sur,” he said.

“We got the invitation through PDBF Secretary General Pinky Castillo who came here to coach our team a few months ago. Hopefully she’ll be back next week to share more on her knowledge on the sport,” he added.

Butuan City’s dragon boat scene started to emerge in June 2012 when Butardo convinced two other schools, Butuan Doctors College and Agusan Colleges Incorporated, to form their respective dragon boat teams.

By July, the three teams were training with the Philippine National Police national dragon boat team, the Patriots. They then competed with each other in a 200-meter race across the Agusan river last September 15, 2012.  (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)