By Emme Lee
My name is Emme Lee and I am the newly elected Co-Captain External of the REACH Dragon Boat Team.
On Saturday June 15th, REACH participated in the CAACF Duan Wu Festival at Lake Fairview Park.
The Duan Wu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, is a Chinese traditional holiday held every year on May 5th. According to legend, the festival started when a beloved poet named Qu Yuan drowned himself in a river. The locals, who admired him very much, rushed out in boats to find his body. Unfortunately, he was never found. In despair, his admirers threw rice balls into the river, in hopes the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. Eating rice balls, also known as zong zi, is now a tradition enjoyed by many at the Duan Wu Festival.
At the festival, REACH members learned the basics of dragon boat paddling and had the wonderful chance to row in a race. I know I speak for all of the paddlers when I say we had an exciting time. I genuinely hope all REACH members can experience how invigorating a dragon boat race can be, especially with a team as amazing as REACH.
For this year’s Dragon Boat season, my aim is to introduce new REACH members to the sport and get them excited about it. I believe that the Dragon Boat Team is a crucial part of REACH because of the time we spend practicing and bonding with each other.